De Lima pays tribute to late SC Justice Romero

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Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima today joined the rest of the nation, notably the legal community, in mourning over the demise of human rights champion and retired Supreme Court (SC) Justice Flerida Ruth Romero.

De Lima, a former justice secretary, said Romero will always be remembered for shaping the lives of Filipinos through her legal works and efforts in promoting human rights and the rule of law.

“Everything she touched was a step towards uplifting the lives of Filipinos. Indeed, at a time when many that dare call themselves public servants are bent on demeaning, destroying and maligning lives, public figures and legal luminaries like her will truly be missed,” she said in a Dispatch from Crame No. 209.

Romero has passed away at the age of 88 on Dec. 8.

The late magistrate served as director and dean of the UP School of Labor and Industrial Relations from 1962 to 1963 before her SC appointment. She assumed office on October 21, 1991, and served until August 1, 1999 after reaching the compulsory retirement age of 70.

De Lima encouraged her fellow lawyers, public servants, and legislators to emulate Romero and let her legacy live, especially now that the present administration has not relented in its attacks on democratic institutions.

“With her passing, another light in the legal, nay, the Filipino community goes out, and the end of an era grows ever nearer. An end of an era when respect for others mattered. When dignity and integrity mattered. When Truth and Justice mattered. When rights mattered. When being right mattered,” she said.

“Her watch has ended. But, perhaps, if we public servants, members of the legal profession, and leaders in the community followed her example and helped breathe new life into her advocacies, perhaps her legacy will live much longer and benefit our people for a longer time,” she added.

Recalling Romero’s accomplishments, De Lima said the magistrate helped establish what would later become the UP School of Labor and Industrial Relations, and also played a key part in the drafting of the Family Code.

As a human rights advocate, De Lima said Romero had a key role in promoting women and children’s rights locally and in the international sphere.

The Senator from Bicol shared Romero was one of her inspirations as lawyer, a public servant, and as a human rights advocate, whose memories continue to guide her in her personal and professional life.

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