Press Release
August 14, 2010


Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago, complimenting newly-appointed Supreme Court Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, said that the latter will likely be the first female chief justice of the Supreme Court.

"She is brilliant. It is fortuitous that she was appointed very young. She will earn the necessary seniority and eventually become the first female chief justice of the Philippine Supreme Court," Santiago said.

Santiago also hailed Pres. Benigno Aquino III for making Sereno his first appointee to the Supreme Court.

"Sereno's appointment is a triumph of superior intellect over shabby politics. I admire Pres. Aquino for his impartiality and preference for intellectual merit," the senator said.

Santiago said that she worked closely with Sereno on matters of international law pending in the Senate, and that Sereno impressed her as "one of the leading authorities in the Asian region on international trade law."

Santiago said Pres. Aquino's appointment was remarkable, because Aquino reportedly met Sereno for the first time when he requested her to give him a briefing on certain treaties pending in the Senate.

"Pres. Aquino is not paying off a political debt, or investing in a political asset. Obviously, he merely chose the best and the brightest. In our country, that is an achievement in itself," Santiago said.

Santiago described Justice Sereno as "humble and conscientious."

"She tends to hide her light under a bushel. My impression is that if her expertise were not so remarkable, she would probably prefer to fade into the wallpaper," Santiago said.

Both Santiago and Sereno are UP law cum laude graduates, and both finished graduate degrees in law at the University of Michigan. Both women also specialize in the field of international law.

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