CJ Corona asks Justices Carpio, Sereno to inhibit themselves from handling his petition

February 8, 2012 11:11 pm 

MANILA, Feb. 8 – The defense lawyers of Supreme Court (SC) Chief Justice Renato Corona on Wednesday asked for inhibition of SC Associate Justices Antonio Carpio and Ma. Lourdes Sereno from handling his petition seeking to nullify the articles of impeachment filed against the Chief Justice.

"It is publicly known that the Honorable Justices Antonio Carpio and Ma. Lourdes Sereno have been critical of Chief Justice Renato Corona. More importantly, Justices Carpio and Sereno are openly touted as the likely replacements, in the event that CJ Corona is removed from office," the motion to inhibit said.

In the motion to inhibit, the defense counsels of the Chief Justice, led by retired SC Associate Justice Serafin Cuevas, said that in the case of Justice Carpio, "it is well known that he begrudged CJ Corona on the latter's appointments as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. While there have been public displays of civility, the enmity and rivalry between him and CJ Corona is common knowledge. It is not uncommon to find them on different sides of most judicial matters."

With regards to Sereno, the motion said that Sereno's arrival to the Supreme Court "signaled a new period of difficulty and embarrassment for CJ Corona. She has openly defied and challenged the authority of CJ Corona. More importantly, she is listed among the witnesses to be summoned by the Prosecution in the impeachment trial against CJ Corona."

The defense lawyers said that it was basic that a judge should not only be impartial but must dutifully observe the perception of impartiality.

"In this case, the animosity of Justices Carpio and Sereno against CJ Corona have become public knowledge, casting doubt on their ability to render impartial justice," the motion to inhibit said. (PNA) RMA/PTR

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