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Philippines' first female Chief Justice Sereno takes oath

08-25-2012 15:05 BJT

MANILA, Aug. 25 (Xinhua) -- Philippine President Aquino on Saturday swore into office Maria Lourdes Sereno as the 24th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court -- the first female to hold the position and the youngest-ever Chief Justice of the country who will keep the post until she reaches the mandatory retirement age of 70 in 2030.

Sereno took her oath at Malacanang's Rizal Hall barely a day after Palace Spokesman Edwin Lacierda announced that Mr. Aquino had appointed her based on the latter's confidence and optimism that she can implement much-needed reforms in the judiciary.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said in an interview after the oath-taking ceremony that she believed that the 52-year-old Sereno would be "a very good Chief Justice."

"Her youth, her dynamism, and her brilliance would go a long way in ensuring that we can look forward to a judiciary that would be worthy of the people's trust," de Lima said.

Deputy Palace Spokesperson Abigail Valte said on Friday in a news briefing that Aquino was confident that Sereno "will lead the judiciary in undertaking much-needed reforms."

"We believe the Judicial Branch of government has a historic opportunity to restore our people's confidence in the judicial system," he said.

Sereno, who was appointed as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court on August 16, 2010, obtained an Economics degree at the Ateneo de Manila University, and a Bachelor of Laws degree at the University of the Philippines, both on scholarships from the government and private institutions.

She graduated valedictorian from the UP College of Law in 1984, and in 1992, through a De Witte Fellowship and a Ford-Rockefeller Scholarship, she pursued her Masters of Laws at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Sereno was legal counsellor at the World Trade Organizations' Appellate Body Secretariat in Geneva, and was the only female member of the 1999 Preparatory Commission on Constitutional Reform where she was elected chair of its Steering Committee.


Editor:James |Source: Xinhua

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