Sereno will be Chief Justice till kingdom comeBy Tarra Quismundo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The Philippines may already be a First World country. President Benigno Aquino III may have already tied the knot. Jesus could have already come down from heaven to judge the earth. And earthlings could have already settled in colonies on Mars.
All those could transpire between now and 2030, when the new Chief Justice, Supreme Court Associate Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, completes her term of office.
From political swipes to wishful thinking, netizens took to cyberspace Friday night, sharing in 140 characters or less how they imagine the future under the historic 18-year term of the newly appointed Chief Justice.
Playing on the hashtag #CJPaSiSereno, Internet users turned to the microblogging site Twitter shortly after Sereno’s appointment and shared jokes about the new chief magistrate’s expected term until 2030.
Among the first to kickstart the conversation, user @tweetnirizal, an account under the name of national hero Jose Rizal, drew amusement from his followers with his hit tweet that apparently joked around former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s metal implants: “Robot na si GMA (GMA has already transformed into a robot), #CJPaSiSereno.”
Arroyo’s lawyer Ferdinand Topacio (@FerdieTopacio) took a shot at the incumbent President, tweeting: “Kalbo na si P-Noy (P-Noy has already grown bald), #CJPaSiSereno. Wait, kalbo na siya ngayon ah (he’s already bald).”
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More from Topacio: “Number one na sa circulation ang Daily Tribune (Daily Tribune has jumped to No. 1 in circulation)…; Fitness guru na si Linggoy Alcuaz (Linggoy Alcuaz has become a fitness guru)…; Puti na ang wig ni Harry Roque (Harry Roque’s hairpiece has turned white)…; Lanta na ang mga bulaklak sa polo shirts ni Mayor (Lito) Atienza (The flowers in Mayor Atienza’s shirts have wilted)…—all while Sereno is still chief justice (“CJpasiSereno”).
User Bam Alegre (@BamAlegre) joked: “May asawa na siguro si President Noynoy (President Noynoy is already married), #CJPaSiSereno.”
Aquino chose Sereno from eight nominees on Friday, an appointment that not only installed the country’s first female Chief Justice but also among the longest expected to serve.
Replacing impeached Chief Justice Renato Corona, the 52-year-old will retire at 70, giving her an 18-year term on the high tribunal.
Top trending topic
Lawyer Francis Acero introduced the hashtag to Twitterverse Friday shortly after Sereno’s appointment, expanding a conversation he was already having with his friends at the University of the Philippines Law School that call themselves Republic of 4A.
“I was talking to my old classmates and we were thinking about how long Sereno was going to be Chief [Justice]. I was also thinking I might not live to see the end of her term. Eighteen years is a long time,” Acero told the Inquirer in an interview on Twitter.
How the public responded to the hashtag through their own tweets show the spectrum of reactions to Sereno’s appointments. The #CJPaSiSereno tweets became the top trending topic in the Philippines on Twitter on Friday night.
“The hopeful ones are inspiring, the bitter ones reflect fear and the funny ones show people know what’s going on,” said Acero.
Public opinion more fun
Quite simply, online conversation shows just how public opinion is more fun in the Philippines, gaining participation of users of all ages and inclinations.
User Don Olivan (@doncallmethat) did not pass up the chance to take a swipe at Sen. Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, recently embroiled in plagiarism charges for copying quotes from an American blogger for his speech against the reproductive health (RH) bill: “Umamin na si Tito Sotto na guilty sya ng plagiarism (Tito Sotto has already admitted to plagiarism) #CJpasiSereno,” Olivan said.
Department of Health’s Dr. Eric Tayag (@erictayagsays) was rather serious in his tweet as he again pushed for the much-debated bill: “PH population hits 140 million #CJPaSiSereno. Pass #RHBill.”
User Ryan David Tungala (@ShiroUnlimited) tweeted: “First World country na ang Pilipinas (The Philippines is already a First World country), #CJPaSiSereno.”
Epi Fabonan III (@epic_epi) said: “Nag-host na ng Olympics and Pilipinas (The Philippines has already hosted the Olympics), #CJPaSiSereno.”
An account holder chose to drum up interest in the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill. “Namuti na ang mata natin kakaantay na maipasa ang FOI bill (Our eyes have already turned white from waiting for the passage of the FOI bill) #CJpasiSereno.” With a report from Christian V. Esguerra
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