Carpio’s refusal to testify vs Sereno a ‘breath of fresh air,’ says De Lima
The refusal of Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio to testify in the House impeachment hearing of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno was a “breath of fresh air” in the judiciary, according to detained Senator Leila de Lima.
“Justice Antonio Carpio is the breath of fresh air in the judiciary today,” De Lima said in a statement on Friday as she lauded the magistrate’s decision not to attend the impeachment hearing against the Chief Justice at the House of Representatives.
“The most to have a gripe as the most senior Justice to be bypassed for the Chief Justice position, he now exemplifies dignity and circumspection among the justices for refusing to be dragged into the highly politicized impeachment proceedings against Chief Justice Sereno,” the senator said.
Carpio on Thursday said he declined to testify as he had no personal knowledge of the matters the House committee on justice wanted to discuss in the impeachment hearing.
The House committee wanted Carpio to testify on the allegation that Sereno falsified the temporary restraining order of the Supreme Court in the case of Senior Citizens Party-list vs. the Commission on Elections.
However, in a letter to the committee, Carpio said: “I wish to state I have no personal knowledge on this matter.”
“In so doing, Justice Carpio has managed to preserve whatever integrity and honor is left in the High Court. He now symbolizes both the independence and forthrightness of a Court under siege from the House and Malacañang,” De Lima said.
De Lima said Carpio’s decision came at a time where “self-preservation and self-interest dominate the political scene of kowtowing to Malacañang.”
“There are men and women who refuse to be so beguiled by power and protection, but instead stand up for and defend their institutions from the assault of tyranny,” the detained senator said.
“They will all be remembered when this is all over, the few and brave souls who dared to stand up against the impunity of the House and the regime it serves,” she said.
De Lima has been detained at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame as she is facing trial for alleged involvement in the New Bilibid Prison narcotics trade. /jpv
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