- The Supreme Court says it is ready to rule on “urgent matters” even during the Christmas break
- Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno says the magistrates are all preparing “for any eventuality”
- The SC will have to decide on pending electoral cases with just five months away from the polls
Supreme Court (SC) Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno says the high court is ready to rule on “urgent matters” even during the Christmas holiday break.
“We understand and it is clear to us that this Christmas season will not be a usual season for us. There might be things that we need to set aside because of the urgency of matters that need to be resolved,” GMA News quotes Sereon as saying during the annual SC Christmas party.
Although Sereno did not specifically mention what kind of matters the SC can attend to, it is clear that many of such matters are related to the 2016 elections.
As Business World noted in a report it published, with only five months left before the national and local elections, prominent politicians have sought the speedy resolution of poll-related cases, even asking the SC justices to forego their holidays.
Senate President Franklin Drilon suggested the SC can cancel their Christmas break in order to resolve issues on the disqualification cases filed against Presidential candidate Senator Grace Poe.
Rizalito David, who infamously questioned Poe’s eligibility to serve in a national position because she is a foundling, has questioned the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) decision that granted her eligibility to take her Senate seat.
Poe’s camp has also indicated that they are willing to take the decision of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) division which disqualified her certificate of candidacy (CoC) to run for President.
Recognizing the role they will be playing, Sereno says the Justices are ready “for any eventuality” and will make themselves available even during the recess.
“The preparations are being done individually by the offices of the justices, the 15 justices. I would believe that now they are already undertaking preliminary research and some preliminary reading,” she said.
She also assured the public that the SC will exercise “utmost wisdom” in deciding any cases while asking the public not to jump to conclusions when such decisions arrive.
“I don’t personally see this as just a contest for 2016 – who is able to wield power for the next six years, but the impact of whatever decision will come out from us, as well as the election itself, will have long term consequences for our country. It is also incumbent upon us, it behooves us to listen closely, to have an open mind about the facts that are going to be relayed before us or the legal arguments that are going to be set before us,” said the country’s first female Chief Justice.