Sereno downplays differences with colleagues

Posted at 02/13/2013 9:18 PM | Updated as of 02/13/2013 9:18 PM

MANILA - Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno laughed off news regarding her alleged rift with her one-time competitor to the post, Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio.

She also claimed she and her colleagues in the Supreme Court are “working together” though not captured by the glare of camera lights.

“We have done it quietly outside the eye of the public glare. They are being done steadily--capacities for reform, for greater efficiency, for meeting deadlines, for setting standards,” she said in a speech during the groundbreaking of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines tower in Pasig City.

She said each one has a different opinion when it comes to issues. Still, “we have to assure our people that regardless of the fact that we are people with different ways of looking at things, we are united in our desire to serve our country.”

In an ambush interview with reporters, however, she did not directly answer questions on her alleged rift with Carpio.

President Benigno Aquino III chose Sereno over Carpio despite the latter being the most senior in the high court.

In a letter to Sereno last month, Carpio questioned the appointment of lawyer Solomon Lumba as judicial staff head. This is not the first time Carpio questioned the actions of Sereno.

When Sereno appointed Lumba as judicial staff head in September last year, the latter was still a professor and secretary of the University of Philippines College of Law, which is under the executive department.

It was only last month that Lumba resigned from UP Law. Carpio, who eventually withdrew his objection, said the appointment of Sereno was by secondment – holding two posts in different branches of government at the same time.

Asked for comment, Sereno responded with a laugh.

“Everyone is of course united. Everything is working well,” she said.