MANILA, Philippines - Supreme Court (SC) Associate Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales has agreed to administer the oath of office to President-elect Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III on June 30.
In a letter sent to Aquino's Senate office on Friday morning, Carpio-Morales said, "Please consider this as an acceptance of your gracious invitation."
"Thank you for your kind words in describing what I consider to be a plain performance of an official function to uphold the Constitution, which is part of a sworn duty of public servants in this country," Carpio-Morales added in her letter to Aquino.
She was referring to Aquino's reason for choosing her to administer his oath of office instead of Chief Justice Renato Corona.
Carpio-Morales was the only dissenting justice in the SC's decision last March allowing President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to appoint the next chief justice, despite a constitutional ban on midnight appointments.
In the letter, Carpio-Morales also gave Aquino a piece of an unsolicited advice.
"As you enter on the execution of your office, I wish that you make good use of your family's and our country's patrimony of intangibles - the common heritage of moral courage and good judgment - which cannot be matched by any amount of affluence and can sustain you in the political road ahead," she said.
No hard feelings
In an earlier interview on ABS-CBN's Umagang Kay Ganda, SC spokesman Midas Marquez said Corona would not have "hard feelings" toward Carpio-Morales if she accepts Aquino's invitation.
Marquez also assured that Aquino's decision to choose Carpio-Morales would not result in any conflict within the judiciary.
"Chief Justice Corona has repeatedly said that the president-elect's decision should be respected," he said.
Aquino's spokesman, Edwin Lacierda, has clarified that the president-elect harbors no ill feelings towards Corona.
Lacierda said Aquino only supports the position taken by Carpio-Morales—that the Chief Justice should have been chosen by the new president. -- Report from Pia Hontiveros, ABS-CBN News