Some SC justices no-shows at Reyes retirement ceremony

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 18 2008 10:56 PM | Updated as of Dec 19 2008 06:57 AM

Four justices of the Supreme Court (SC) were no-shows at the traditional retirement ceremony of fellow Justice Ruben Reyes Thursday.

Justices Consuelo Ynares-Santiago, Alicia Martinez, Conchita Carpio Morales and Renato Corona were absent despite the fact that Reyes's January 3 retirement was moved in advance to adjust to the magistrates' schedule as they go on recess for the holidays.

Court insiders said some of the justices aren't too happy with the latest controversy on the SC involving the leak of a draft decision penned by Reyes on the citizenship case of Negros Oriental Rep. Jocelyn Limkaichong.

The SC has yet to promulgate a decision on the case.

"Let’s not talk about it, its being inquired into by the committee… we cannot help it. I cannot go into a midnight decision, its better that every decision is promulgated without any cloud of doubt," Reyes said.

The leakage of the draft decision has brought new allegations of impropriety on members of the court for allegedly sitting on the Limkaichong case.

A committee of senior justices has been formed to investigate the leak.

Reyes however is not taking the non-attendance of some of his fellow justices at his retirement personally.

“It's a matter of responsibility. Every member of court is expected to do their part, attendance is one of them," he said.

Reyes also admitted he would have wanted to serve the Court longer.

He however expressed no regrets on his stint of one year and five months at the high court, one of the shortest terms among the Arroyo appointees.

He had this to say to the next member of the high court.

“Just abide by the Constitution… independence ang pinaka-important," he said.

The Judicial and Bar Council are set to submit nominees for replacement of Reyes next week. Marieton Pacheco, ABS-CBN News