Sereno refuses comment on Aquino criticism

 29 Aug 2014 - 1:37

Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno speaks to media during a press conference in Manila yesterday. 

MANILA: Maria Lourdes Sereno faced the media yesterday saying she does not want to comment on President Aquino’s accusations against recent decisions of the Supreme Court.
“I have enormous respect for the president,” Sereno said in a rare, televised conference with a panel of journalists. “I do not read anything into his statements.” 
Aquino, in an interview over Bombo Radyo yesterday, said the Supreme Court should not be allowed to meddle in government affairs. 
Sereno, however, chose to maintain her “dignified silence” and explained the role of the judiciary as the most depoliticised offices of government. 
“If we do not involve ourselves into the muck and rake of politics, then democracy has a better chance of surviving in the county,” she said. She explained that the judiciary’s ideal role is to go about its day-to-day processes in speedily resolving cases, conduct itself with professionalism and audit funds fearlessly.
“This is how I think the Constitution has designed us to be. I am trying to hew as much as I can to that ideal model--to a depoliticised Chief Justice,” Sereno added.
The high court ruled against acts and practices under Aquino’s Disbursement Acceleration Programme (DAP) last July, irking the president who criticised the court of countering the country’s development.
“The reason why we have not been able to exploit to the maximum our ability to build ourselves as a maximum is that we have not paid sufficient attention to constitutional processes and the constitutional roles that are assigned to (the three branches),” Sereno said. DAP as a reform intervention to speed-up public spending and to boost economic growth.