MANILA, Philippines – Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio thumbed down Malacañang’s invitation to the traditional vin d’honneur for diplomatic corps and government officials.
Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda confirmed to Rappler that Carpio sent his regrets for missing the vin d’honneur (which means “wine of honor”) to celebrate the Philippines’ 114th Independence Day on Tuesday, June 12.
Lacierda said however that Associate Justices Arturo Brion, Lourdes Sereno and Bienvenido Reyes were present at the event.
The event is conducted twice yearly — during New Year’s Day and Independence Day. Supreme Court justices are always invited to it.
A lawyer close to Carpio told Rappler that his no-show was nothing new. The lawyer said Carpio has not attended the gathering in 8 years.
Corona missed event, too
Dismissed chief justice Renato Corona also did not attend the vin d’honneur held in Malacañang early this year.
In fact, most SC justices did not show up in the event, a move that some quarters said signaled the worsening relations between the judiciary and the executive branch.
The gathering for the New Year was held on January 14, two days before Corona’s impeachment trial began. Corona was impeached by 188 lawmakers in the House of Representatives in December 2011. He was convicted by the Senate impeachment court in May for failing to declare P183 million in peso and dollar bank deposits in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth.
Carpio, the most senior justice in the SC, took over Corona’s post in an acting capacity. He is one of 5 senior justices who have been automatically nominated to replace Corona for good. The others are Justices Presbitero Velasco, Teresita Leonardo De Castro, Diosdado Peralta and Brion.
Carpio has yet to accept his nomination, however.
Carpio and Corona were rivals for the top judiciary post in 2010. Corona was appointed after the former withdrew from the race due to an appointment ban. Under the law, the President is barred from making any appointments except to temporary posts in the executive branch two months before the elections and up until his or her term ends on June 30.
Meanwhile, when asked what he thinks of Carpio, President Aquino told Rappler in a prior interview that they “agree on some points and disagree on others.” – Rappler.com