Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin thanks Supreme Court officials and employees as he bids them goodbye during his last flag-raising ceremony as the country's 25th chief magistrate at the SC courtyard in Manila, Oct. 14, 2019.
Supreme Court Public Information Office, Twitter account
Chief Justice Bersamin: 'No regrets' in SC stint
Kristine Joy Patag (Philstar.com) - October 14, 2019 - 11:45am

MANILA, Philippines — Retiring Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin had “no regrets” in his more than a decade of service in the Supreme Court.

“As the moment draws near, I experience a deep sense of personal satisfaction. No regrets,” Bersamin, who would officially retire from the judiciary on Friday, said in a speech during SC’s flag ceremony.

Bersamin has been with the SC for more than a decade and has spent his last year at the high court as the chief justice.

“I have always endeavored to be true to my oath office and have always discharged my duties and responsibilities in the best lights that God has endowed me with,” he added.

“As chief justice, I have done everything within bounds of the law to afford the fullest access to my office,” he also said.

A part of Padre Faura Street in Manila was closed off Monday morning for Bersamin’s last flag ceremony at the SC. The high court’s employees were clad in blue, and SC justices were present for the ceremonies.

Bersamin also received military honors.

Bersamin to colleagues: Be loyal to judiciary

Addressing the SC for the last time as the head of Judiciary, Bersamin urged them to always be forthright.

“Continue doing your assigned task and work. Please be constant in your loyalty to the Judiciary as our institution and be steadfast in the fealty to the letter and spirit of the Constitution and to the rule of law,” the chief justice also said.

Bersamin told his colleagues at the SC last week that he wished to be remembered as “the healing chief justice who brought stability and normalcy back to the judiciary.”

Bersamin's appointment as chief justice came as the SC was reeling from controversies surrounding the ouster of Ma. Lourdes Sereno as head of judiciary. The SC voted 8-6 to grant Solicitor General Jose Calida's quo warranto petition and declare her position null.

READ: Bersamin on Sereno ouster: A moment in SC history we'll never forget 

The Constitution holds that the president has 90 days, from the date of the vacancy, to fill a post in the judiciary.

The Judicial and Bar Council deferred action on applicants for Bersamin’s post last Friday.

RELATED: Who's Who: The four vying to be the next chief justice

A vote on poll protest?

Bersamin would join his last en banc session on Tuesday, October 15, with former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s poll protest against Vice President Leni Robredo among the cases listed on the agenda.

The SC has deferred action on Associate Justice Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa’s report on the recount of ballots in Marcos’ three pilot provinces of Camarines Sur, Iloilo and Negros Oriental.

READ: Marcos poll protest can't be manipulated, Chief Justice Bersamin assures public

Following Rule 65 of PET rules, the recount result will determine whether Marcos’ protest will be dismissed or not. If there is a big discrepancy between the official tally and figures from the revision, the PET will expand the coverage of the recount to 24 other provinces and cities, covering 30,000 poll precincts.

CHIEF JUSTICE JUDICIAL AND BAR COUNCIL LUCAS BERSAMIN SUPREME COURT
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