De Castro attends SC flag ceremony for the last time
(philstar.com) - October 8, 2018 - 10:37am

MANILA, Philippines — Chief Justice Teresita de Castro is wrapping up more than 45 years of service with the Philippine justice system this week and on Monday addressed the Supreme Court for the last time.

De Castro is set to retire from the high court on Wednesday, October 10, after almost 16 years of service at the Supreme Court. During her stint at the government, she also served at the Department of Justice and Sandiganbayan.

In her speech, the chief justice said that she approved the upgrade of the salary of staff of first level courts “in keeping with the heavy responsibility that they perform.”

She also said that overtime pay was given to stenographers and other court employees who are helping in the continuous trial of cases.

“I’ve tried my best so that my presence would be most felt not only for members of the court but also judges nationwide,” De Castro said in a speech that was streamed by News5.

De Castro was also given a Certificate of Appreciation signed by Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, Clerk of Court Edgar Aricheta and Deputy Clerk of Court and Chief Administrative Officer Ma. Carina Cunanan.

De Castro has held the position of chief justice for less than two months. She took over the post vacated by ousted Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

Her appointment as the top judge reaped controversy as some speculated that it was a reward for her hand in the ouster of Sereno, who was branded by President Rodrigo Duterte as his enemy.

READ: Cheers, jeers greet new CJ De Castro at Supreme Court

But De Castro said that critics should look at her records instead. “I do not think that one incident would have been enough to elevate me to the highest position in the judiciary,” she told reporters last August 28.

The STAR reported that De Castro, retiring with the top judge position, would enjoy a pension that is around 50 percent higher than what she would have received if she left the SC as an associate justice.

READ: Higher retirement perks await Teresita De Castro

De Castro will join her colleagues for the last time in an en banc session on Tuesday, October 9. She will also preside over the third day of oral arguments on the petitions challenging the Philippines’ withdrawal of membership from the International Criminal Court.

The Judicial and Bar Council opened on September 29 applications for the chief justice post. — Kristine Joy Patag

CHIEF JUSTICE SUPREME COURT TERESITA DE CASTRO
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