MANILA -- Despite getting the lowest public satisfaction rating among the top five officials in government in the latest Social Weather Station (SWS) survey, Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno will continue to focus on her responsibilities to further improve the country’s justice system and strengthen the rule of law.
In a statement on Thursday, Sereno's lawyer, Josa Deinla, belittled the +6 net satisfactory rating obtained by the Chief Justice in the latest SWS survey -- the lowest among the five top government officials.
Sereno obtained a net satisfaction rating of +6 in the latest SWS survey of 1,200 respondents from Dec. 8 to 16, the time when the House of Representatives' justice committee conducted hearings on the impeachment complaint against the chief justice.
Her latest satisfaction rating is classified as "neutral" and is 3 points lower than the +9 she got last September.
It is the lowest rating Sereno had since she scored -1 during the same month in 2015.
Deinla even welcomed it as a positive sign for the embattled chief magistrate.
"Despite a well-orchestrated campaign to malign her and soil her integrity through baseless and malicious allegations, Chief Justice Sereno’s net satisfaction rating has stayed 'neutral' and relatively unscathed," she stressed.
The lawyer added the Chief Justice will continue to dispense her duties according to her sworn oath and the Constitution.
“She remains focused on her responsibilities to further improve the country’s justice system and strengthen the rule of law. The impeachment has not interfered with the fundamental reforms, such as court decongestion, continuous trial, automated hearings, and the expansion of electronic courts. The Chief Justice is determined to make the Supreme Court responsive to the needs of the people,” Deinla noted.
She added Sereno remains hopeful that in the impeachment process, her fundamental rights -- including her right to counsel and to cross-examine through her counsel of choice -- will be respected, so that she would be "able to fully address all the issues raised in the impeachment complaint."
The Chief Justice has a pending impeachment complaint in Congress. She is accused of culpable violation of the Constitution, corruption, other high crimes, and betrayal of public trust.
The House Committee on Justice has already voted to declare that there was sufficient ground to proceed with the impeachment proceedings filed by lawyer Larry Gadon.
Gadon, in his impeachment complaint, alleged that Sereno failed to report or include in her SALN the earnings she made when she represented the Philippine International Airport Terminals Co. in the controversial case over the alleged irregularity in the construction of Terminal 3 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
Sereno is also accused of purchasing a brand-new 2017 Toyota Land Cruiser worth PHP5.1 million using public funds. (PNA)