MANILA, Philippines - Lauro Vizconde formally opposed the nomination and possible appointment of Supreme Court (SC) Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio as the next Chief Justice.
In a 3-page letter to the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC), Vizconde accused Carpio, a witness for the defense in the trial for the murder of Vizconde's wife, Estrellita, and daughters Carmela and Anne Marie Jennifer, of trying to influence the outcome of the case before the Court of Appeals (CA) and the SC in favor of then accused Hubert Webb.
The Vizcondes were murdered inside their residence in Paranaque in June 1991. Along with Webb, Antonio Lejano, Michael A. Gatchalian, Hospicio Fernandez, Miguel Rodriguez, Peter Estrada and Gerardo Biong were charged. The accused were all convicted by the trial court; they elevated the case to the CA, and finally, the SC.
" I respectfully submit that, insofar as my knowledge is concerned, at least in the case of People vs. Webb, Mr. Justice Carpio has exhibited his tendencies to submit to corruption and to entertain biases to serve his own personal interest and the interest of those close to him," Vizconde said.
"I am respectfully submitting my vehement objection to the nomination and appointment of Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, as he is wanting in, and has not proven his possession of the qualities of integrity, probity and independence required of the highest post in the Judiciary..." he added.
Vizconde claimed that Carpio is "associated" with Pres. Aquino and appointing him will create "the impression of Executive control over the Judiciary."
"[A]ppointing Justice Carpio to the Highest Judicial Office with the foregoing unsettled and still haunting issues, will be a blemished start for the new Supreme Court and would only promote divisiveness than unity in our country," Vizconde said.
Vizconde was accompanied to the office of the JBC in the Supreme Court by lawyer Ferdinand Topacio.
In a separate letter submitted to the JBC earlier, the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC), a group Vizconde co-founded, also opposed Carpio's appointment.
The letter said Carpio represents the "old boys club" in the high court. The VACC feared Carpio will be a "biased" Chief Justice who will only maintain an "ugly status quo" in an institution that "badly needs vigorous reforms."