What happens to PIO under Sereno?

Posted at 09/09/12 3:42 PM

MANILA, Philippines -- Days after insisting the Supreme Court (SC) will go back to its “golden days” of “dignified silence,” newly installed Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno has not yet made known her plans regarding the employees under the public information office.

Employees of the PIO are concurrent with the chief justice. However, some of the employees there have already been working with the SC since the time of Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr.

In a memo, Sereno merely said: “The services of the Management Information Office and the Public Information Office are extended effective from August 25, 2012 until October 31, 2012.”

She did not say what will happen to the operations of these two offices after October 31. Sources said current employees there are being interviewed one by one.

SC PIO acting chief Maria Victoria Gleoresty Guerra said the memo order “extends only the present PIO staff until October 31 without any prejudice to their reappointment.”

In creating the PIO, Davide earlier said the Supreme Court should be understood by the common people.

Thereafter, the three chief justices who succeeded Davide maintained the PIO and its employees.

“Wisdom leads me to seek to return the Supreme Court to its days of dignified silence--when its justices were heard when read through their writings, and when the actions of the court were best seen in their collective resolutions,” Sereno said immediately after she took office.

In the long history of the Supreme Court, there have been only two spokespersons: Ishmael Khan, followed by Jose Midas Marquez, who became the most popular having instituted regular press conferences.

Marquez was removed as PIO chief, however, when the Senate voted to remove from office Chief Justice Renato Corona in May. However, Marquez still holds the position as court administrator.