MANILA -- Chief Justice Lucas P. Bersamin on Monday formally bid farewell to officials and employees of the Supreme Court (SC) during his last flag-raising ceremony at the SC compound. Bersamin is reaching the mandatory retirement age of 70 on Thursday, October 17.
"Continue doing your assigned tasks and work, but please be constant in your loyalty to the Judiciary as an institution, and be steadfast in your fealty to the letter and spirit of the Constitution and to the Rule of Law," Bersamin said.
Bersamin earlier said he would like the public to remember him as the "healing chief justice".
"I wish to be remembered and known as the healing chief justice who brought stability and normalcy back to the judiciary and particularly to the SC,” he said.
“Yes, the judiciary needed healing and it became my response as chief justice to initiate and ensure such healing,” he continued.
Bersamin was appointed in November 2018 succeeding Chief Justice Teresita Leonardo De Castro who served for two months as head magistrate until her retirement.
De Castro was named to the post after former Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno stepped down from office. Sereno, in turn was appointed Chief Justice following the unceremonious exit of the late Chief Justice Renato Corona.
Four senior SC justices are vying for the coveted top court seat in the country, namely: Justices Diosdado Peralta, Jose Reyes Jr., Andres Reyes Jr., and Estela Perlas-Bernabe.
Justices who declined their automatic nomination were Antonio Carpio, Marvic Leonen, and Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa.
Starting on October 18, Carpio will automatically become the acting chief justice until his compulsory retirement on October 26.
From October 26 and if President Duterte has not yet appointed Bersamin’s replacement, Peralta, the third magistrate in line based on seniority, will take the post from Carpio as acting chief justice. (PNA)