Carpio Morales set to retire sans ceremony

By Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 16 2011 05:36 PM | Updated as of Jun 17 2011 06:59 AM

Retiring Supreme Court Associate Justice Conchita Carpio Morales will not have the traditional retirement ceremony for outgoing Justices of the high court when she steps down from the high tribunal tomorrow, Friday.

Carpio Morales, the 151st magistrate of the 15-member court, instead opted to just have the testimonial dinner that follows the retirement ceremony at the Supreme Court session hall in the afternoon.

The testimonial dinner will be at the Sofitel Plaza hotel in Pasay City.

The retirement ceremony honors retiring justices through speeches given by fellow justices, the offering of tokens which include his/her Book of Decisions -- a compilation of Decisions the retiring justice penned, and the Philippine flag.

Rarely is this tradition done away with whenever a magistrate retires, but remains as a personal discretion of the retiring justice.

Carpio Morales was appointed to the high court by former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on September 3, 2002.

She joined the Judiciary in 1983 as Presiding Judge of the Pili, Camarines Sur Regional Trial Court. In 1986, she was transferred to the Pasay Regional Trial Court(RTC) and appointed to the Court of Appeals(CA) in 1994.

Carpio Morales is the first woman magistrate to administer the Oath of Office of a President of the Republic of the Philippines. President Benigno Aquino III took his oath as 15th president of the republic before her on June 30, 2010.

Carpio Morales is believed to be the top contender for the post of Ombudsman after the resignation of Merceditas Gutierrez last April.