As the nation mourned, President Benigno Aquino III made a historic appointment.
Mr. Aquino on Friday appointed the Philippines’ first female Chief Justice, Supreme Court Associate Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.
Sereno becomes the country’s 24th Chief Justice. At 52, she is the second youngest to be appointed Chief Justice (the first was Chief Justice Manuel Moran, who was 51 when he was appointed in 1945).
With 18 years to go before she retires, her service will span the terms of three more presidents after President Aquino.
Supreme Court justices serve until they turn 70.
Sereno spoke to reporters on Friday afternoon after leaving her office in the company of her staff. She said she was “overwhelmed” when she learned that she was the President’s choice for the new Chief Justice.
“I would like to thank the President for the trust he has reposed in me, but most of all I give all the glory to God from whom all this goodness has happened,” Sereno said.
Asked about her independence, she replied, “Everyone can be assured that will be something that they will see.”
She added: “I would like to assure our countrymen I will keep my oath of office faithfully to the end of my term. We will deliver to the people our priorities and schedules in due time.” Continue Reading
From the Supreme Court Website
Lawyer-academician Maria Lourdes P. A. Sereno was appointed on August 16, 2010 as the 169th Justice of the Supreme Court. Born on July 2, 1960, the then 50-year old Justice is the youngest to be appointed to the SC in this century. She may also be one of the longest-serving justices ever, as she is to mandatorily retire in 2030 after serving a 20-year term.
Despite her family’s humble means, Justice Sereno’s parents were able to nurture in her a passion for learning and personal excellence during her formative years. Her father, a native of Siasi, Sulu, and her mother, a public school teacher, saved what little money they had to buy second-hand books that she would eagerly read. Her appetite for literature and reflection served her well during her primary schooling and enabled her to graduate with honors at the Kamuning Elementary School and Quezon City High School. She was then awarded generous scholarships by the government and several private institutions that allowed her to earn an Economics degree at the Ateneo de Manila University, and a Bachelor of Laws degree at the University of the Philippines. Continue Reading