Today is Sunday, August 19, 2018

Signing the Covenant at the Mindanao Station

On September 18, 2008, Executive Justice Romulo V. Borja and Associate Justices Edgardo A. Camello, Rodrigo F. Lim, Jr., Jane Aurora C. Lantion, Edgardo T. Lloren and Ruben C. Ayson formally signed the Covenant “to do justice”. They were followed by the heads of units and even the rank-and-file.

Associate Justices Mario V. Lopez, Michael P. Elbinias and Elihu A. Ybańez, who were on leave that day, signed the covenant a few days later.

At the beginning of the simple ceremony, the mood was somber as the Executive Justice gave the background and rationale behind the drafting and preparation of the covenant. In response to a query from the floor, he clarified that the covenant was not an admission of wrongdoing on the part of the justices and personnel of the court but was an acknowledgment of how low the public’s perception of the integrity of the court had fallen. He emphasized that under the covenant, the justices and personnel of the court resolved to abandon a “business-as-usual” attitude about their work and to adopt measures that address the public’s concern. The covenant was by no means the end-all of this thrust; it was rather the beginning of a long, hard climb to win back the public’s trust in the court as an institution.

22nd Division Chair Camello then read the covenant. After the Justices have signed the covenant, Justice Lantion delivered her closing remarks.

23rd Division Chair Lim, who emceed the program, then declared the end of the program. In a spontaneous move, the crowd trooped to the stage and signed on the tarpaulin “WE SHALL OVERCOME” streamer that hung as a backdrop to the event. The mood became lighter, even cautiously celebratory. It was as if a cloud had been blown away.

The healing process had begun.

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