MANILA - Supreme Court (SC) Senior Associate Justice and Chief Justice candidate Antonio Carpio has debunked Lauro Vizconde's claims that he tried to influence the outcome of the Vizconde massacre case in favor of the acquittal of Hubert Webb and company.
In a 2-page letter to the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) in response to Vizconde's letter of opposition to his nomination, Carpio pointed out that his name has been cleared of the issue in an en banc resolution dated Feb. 15, 2011 in connection with the celebrated case.
In a letter to the JBC dated July 17, Vizconde accused Carpio of trying to influence the outcome of the acquittal plea of Webb and his co-accused Antonio Lejano, Michael Gatchalian, Hospicio Fernandez, Miguel Rodriguez, Peter Estrada, and Gerardo Biong before the Court of Appeals (CA) and Supreme Court (SC).
In his response, Carpio said Vizconde's accusations have been proven as "falsehood."
Carpio quoted a portion of the high court resolution which read: "Actually, Justice Carpio neither asked nor influenced any of his colleagues to vote for the acquittal of Hubert Webb or any of the accused."
"The en banc unanimously approved this resolution, to which then Chief Justice Corona concurred," Carpio stressed.
In his opposition letter, Vizconde claimed that, in a courtesy call he paid the former Chief Justice, the latter said the following words: "Talagang binabraso at iniimpluwensyahan ni Carpio and kanyang mga kasama para mapawalang sala si Webb," or "something to that effect."
Carpio further said he asked his colleagues in the high court, in the presence of Corona, if he ever lobbied to any of them in favor of Webb or any of the accused, to which they all answered in the negative.
Vizconde was admonished by the high court in the Feb. 2011 resolution for "publicly stating that the Court had been bought when it acquitted the accused and that Justice Antonio Carpio put pressure on its members to vote for such acquittal when he, Mr. Vizconde, was not prepared to substantiate such statement."