NegOcc court judges stay neutral

JUDGES in Negros Occidental are not joining the calls for the resignation of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno as they reminded their colleagues to stay neutral.

In a statement, the officers and members of Negros Occidental Regional Trial Court Association (NORTCJA) said they are saddened by the recent pronouncements from some court personnel, employees’ associations and unions calling for the resignation of the Chief Justice.

"As an organization, we value consensus-building and this matter has been discussed among our members. The consensus is clear: we are and should be neutral," the group said.

They said they do not wish to be part of the issues besetting the Supreme Court and its personnel as their priority is to keep the courts open and to serve the people.

"We are not politicians. We do not have the luxury of publicly expressing our sentiments unless prompted by the situation. This is one of those times that our voices need to be heard," the group stressed.

"We call for sobriety and prudence. We ask our fellow judges to remember our oath to uphold the Constitution and the rule of law; to be impartial and reserve judgment until all evidence has been presented; to be non-partisan and let due process take its course. We stand for an independent judiciary," the group said.

Sereno, in a press conference Monday, maintained she will not step down and will continue to fight the battle for judicial independence.