Chief justice presides over star-studded swear-in rites
Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno on Monday sworn in comebacking Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan and outgoing Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos, a former actress, as congresswoman of the lone district of Lipa City.
It was indeed a star-studded day for the Supreme Court as Sharon Cuneta, megastar to her movie-TV fans, joined in his husband’s oath-taking before Sereno as senator for the incoming 17th Congress.
They were accompanied by another actress KC Concepcion, Cuneta’s daughter, during the ceremony held at the SC dignitaries’ lounge.
Pangilinan placed eighth during the May 9 elections after garnering 15,955,949 votes.
Pangilinan was elected senator first in 2001 and served until 2013. After his term, he was appointed chairman of Presidential Assistant for Food Security and Agricultural Modernization by President Benigno Aquino.
Santos was next to arrive at the SC for her oath-taking as elected congresswoman of the lone district of Lipa, Batangas where she has previously served both as mayor and governor.
She was joined by husband Ralph Recto, who also later on took his oath of office before the Chief Justice, and their son Ryan Christian.
SC employees took the opportunity to pose for souvenir photos with Cuneta and Santos.
Meanwhile, Sereno will not administer the oath of office on incoming President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday, June 30.
Just like his predecessor, Duterte veered away from the tradition of the President taking oath of office before the chief justice as he chose his San Beda law school fraternity brother Associate Justice Bienvenido Reyes to administer his oath instead.
In 2010, outgoing President Aquino also chose not to take his oath before the late former Chief Justice Renato Corona after questioning the latter’s “midnight appointment” by the previous administration.
He took his oath before then Associate Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales, whom he later on appointed as Ombudsman.