The Supreme Court will return to its days of dignified silence, as Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno has decided to not grant interviews to the media.
In a statement on the Supreme Court website, Sereno said "wisdom leads me to seek to return the Supreme Court to its days of dignified silence--when its justices were heard when read through their writings and when the actions of the Court were best seen in their collective resolutions."
She said the judiciary is not a political branch of government and is charged with being "deliberate, accurate, sober, and carefully balanced before arriving at its decisions and in the presentation of such decisions." She said that granting interviews may make the Court and its actions "susceptible to misinterpretation."
"If the Supreme Court is to return to its golden days, then the Chief Justice must respectfully decline all these well-meaning requests for interview," she said.
The newly-appointed Chief Justice does recognize the role of media, however, calling it "a natural ally in any institution's intention to be more transparent about its workings."
She said, however, that making sure that all requests for interviews are treated fairly would mean agreeing with media outfits on interview schedules, length, and "other operational concerns" would require too much time and effort and might become a distraction from other problems that the judiciary faces.
Sereno said she will be meeting with units of the Supreme Court tasked with information dissemination and public affairs to "seek ways on how to best meet the needs of media for accurate and timely information."
Philippine President Benigno Aquino on Tuesday announced a $1.8-billion military upgrade to help defend his country's maritime territory against "bullies", amid an ever-worsening dispute with China.