The Supreme Court recently celebrated the 109th anniversary of its founding on June 11, 1901 and its first under Chief Justice Renato C. Corona.
This year’s theme is Malayang Korte Suprema: Korona ng Demokrasya, which reflects how the High Court treasures its independence as defensor fidei – the guardian of the Constitution – in upholding the rule of law in the face of numerous challenges.
On June 10, 2010, the SC held its anniversary mass with Fr. Francis Dizon Alvarez, S.J. as the celebrant at the SC Training Room, Centennial Building, Padre Faura, Ermita, Manila. In his homily, Fr. Alvarez spoke of how the Supreme Court’s duty to mete justice is consistent with the Christian values of mercy and compassion. After the mass, Chief Justice Corona gave his anniversary message to the employees (see From the Bench below).
Throughout the day, various tiangge stalls selling food and other merchandise, put up shop at the areas in front of the SC Old Building and at the SC Basketball Court. Employees were given a PhP1,000 allocation in cash and coupons to spend during celebration.
Highlight of the SC Anniversary:
Now in its fourth year, the Supreme Court Outreach Program sought to give aid to the country’s hope and future, its schoolchildren, under this year’s Adopt-a-School Program headed by Chief Justice Corona.
Group 1, composed of the Office of the Chief Justice, the Public Information Office, the Program Management Office, and the Financial Services and Internal Audit Divisions visited Ma. Paz Elementary School, in the Chief Justice’s hometown of Tanauan City, Batangas on June 24 to share a morning of fun, entertainment, and learning with the school’s students, faculty, and staff. Led by the Chief Justice and Court Administrator and SC spokesperson Jose Midas P. Marquez, Group 1 employees personally handed over the group’s donation of books and chairs, two of the school’s urgent needs for the new schoolyear. The Group 1 volunteers were also treated to several song and dance numbers by the students as well as a tour of the school by the faculty and staff. In his message to the students, Chief Justice Corona exhorted them to study hard, citing as an example his father, Atty. Juan Corona, who was a working student in law school.
Group 2, composed of the Office of Associate Justices, had a heartwarming day at the Philippine School for the Deaf (formerly known as the School for the Deaf and the Blind) in Pasay on June 18. The group of SC volunteers was welcomed by the students and faculty members with a special song and dance number using sign language. It was an insightful experience for the volunteers who, after a tour of the school’s facilities and interaction with the students, gained insight on the lives of the hearing and speech impaired.
Group 3, made up of the Office of the Clerk of Court – En Banc; First, Second, and Third Divisions; and the Judicial Records Office, went to Moncada, Tarlac on June 18 to give its donation of desktop computers and a printer to the Tolega Norte Elementary School. The school especially requested for computers for its computer classes. The students and teachers showed their gratitude with a song number for the volunteers led by SC Clerk of Court Atty. Ma. Luisa D. Villarama.
The Office of Administrative Services (Group 4) visited the Talanay Day Care Center in Talanay, Brgy. Batasan, Quezon City on June 29 to hand over construction materials for the day care’s repair/renovation. Headed by Deputy Clerk of Court and Chief Administrative Officer Atty. Eden T. Candelaria, the Group coordinated with the Center for Social Concern and Action of the De La Salle University to donate plywood, lumber, nails, and paint, among other materials, to the day care center.
Group 5, the Fiscal Management and Budget Office traveled to Valenzuela City on June 29 to donate various tools and school supplies to the children of Malinta Elementary School-Pinalagad Annex. The group of SC volunteers gave a microscope; globe and world and Philippine maps; white board and white board markers and erasers; volleyball and volleyball net; badminton rackets and shuttlecocks; pail and dipper; and soft brooms, broomsticks, and trash bins to the students, faculty, and staff.
Group 6, made up of the Management Information System Office, Office of the Chief Attorney, Office of the Reporters, Office of the Bar Confidant made a trip to San Carlos, Pangasinan on June 22 to bring school supplies to the students of the Bogaoan Elementary School. The group of SC volunteers also treated the students and teachers to snacks and drinks.
The group of the Printing, Medical, and Library Services; Judicial and Bar Council; and Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Office (Group 7) started its three-visit series to Landayan Elementary School in San Pedro, Laguna on May 31 with an ocular inspection, assessment, and canvassing of materials for the repair of one of the school’s classrooms. On June 9, the group went back to turn over construction materials to start off the classroom repair. On its last visit on June 29, the Group, together with the faculty and staff, inaugurated and blessed the newly renovated classroom.
Group 8, made up of the officials and staff of the Office of Court Administrator, visited Paco Elementary School, Obando, Bulacan on June 25 to oversee the status of the elevation of three classrooms and the adjoining hallway which in the past were often submerged during rainy and high tide seasons. The Group donated cement for the elevation of the rooms, two of which had been finished and were already in use at the time of the volunteers’ visit. The Group also shared snacks with the school’s 1,290 students.
The last and newest group, the Philippine Judicial Academy, adopted the Imus National High School in Imus, Cavite on its first outreach activity as a solo group. On June 16, Group 9 sought to help the school address its water supply problem by contributing for the construction of one artesian well inside the school. The Group also donated one high speed sewing machine, sports equipment, and library materials to the school of 82,000 students.