By: Raydes B. Barcia

Legazpi City — Supreme Court Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo urged the judiciary employees to celebrate Christmas with simplicity, selflessness, and to be a man for others.

Gesmundo urged the judiciary men and women to live in simplicity and to share their blessings to others in his Christmas message to the entire Judiciary during the Supreme Court’s annual Christmas celebration held on December 9, 2022, at the Supreme Court grounds in Ermita, Manila.

Gesmundo urged employees of the High Court to live simply, reminding them that “Christ lived a life in the modest of circumstance.

"That way, He sought to understand us, for he came not to judge us, never to condemn us, but to show us the path to our salvation. It is in being simple that we can truly understand others, most especially, the least of our brothers and sisters, for whom Christ had come. As has been said, let us live simply so that others may simply live,” High Court chief said.

Gesmundo reminded the judiciary employees that “the motivation for the season is love” and that they must be a blessing to others and to reflect on God’s love by sharing and giving to others.

“This is the only way we can put meaning to Christmas, for we can give without loving, but we can never love without giving. Indeed, it is not what we receive from others but what we give and do for them that will bring joy to us this season. It is only when we empty ourselves to others that we can approximate the love God has shown to us by the birth of His Son. So, this Christmas, let us be generous and share our blessings with others,” he said.

In a thanksgiving mass concelebrated by the Archbishop of Manila, His Eminence Jose F. Cardinal Advincula, Jr. D.D., who noted the Feast Day of St. Juan Diego as a fitting reference to simplicity and service, as St. Juan Diego dedicated his life in honor of the Lady of Guadalupe and took care of the pilgrims who came to see her shrine, the High Court chief also gave underlined the judicial reforms through the Strategic Plan for Judicial Innovations 2022-2027 (SPJI).

In keeping with the event’s theme “Sama-samang Ipagdiwang ang Pasko sa Makabagong Korte Suprema,” the Chief Justice also took the occasion to rally support for the High Court’s Strategic Plan for Judicial Innovations 2022-2027 (SPJI), which was launched last October 14.

The SPJI, the blueprint for judicial reforms, had since set into motion the Court’s plans for transformation with the rollout of the National Summit on Legal Aid and the National Summit on Clinical. Legal Education was convened just days apart from each other.

Gesmundo cited the ongoing Ethics Caravan for the Proposed Code of Professional Responsibility and Accountability (CPRA) which had been well-received in the cities of Cebu, Davao, and Naga.

“While we have made headway in our reform agenda, there is so much more that still needs to be done. With a reform program fraught with many challenges, so must we continue, in all humility, to implore God’s help and guidance.” the High Court chief said.

He emphasized that the success of the Judiciary’s programs depends on all offices under its wings, “and in as much as Christmas is a time for family, a time to unite, let us unite and help one another in making SPJI a success. Without your support, our reforms will not last; they will not even take root.”

In closing, Chief Justice Gesmundo reached out to the Court personnel, “in the spirit of Christmas, to be active agents of reform, to see the good in our reforms, not just for ourselves, but more especially, for the public whom we serve. Let us accept these reforms and not be an obstacle to their success.”

The next leg of the Ethics Caravan will be held in Baguio City next year and will culminate in the National Summit on Ethical Standards for Lawyers in February 2023.

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