Lady jus­tice to ad­min­is­ter Noynoy oath

‘The honor is mine,’ says Morales, first woman SC jus­tice to swear in RP pres­i­dent SUPREME COURT AS­SO­CI­ATE JUS­TICE CON­CHITA CAR­pio-Morales has of­fi­cially ac­cepted Pres­i­dent-elect Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III’s request that she swear him into of­fice on June

Philippine Daily Inquirer - - FRONT PAGE - By Dona Z. Pazz­ibugan and ChristineO. Aven­daño

Car­pio-Morales—who will hold the dis­tinc­tion of be­ing the Philip­pines’ first woman jus­tice of the high court to swear in a Pres­i­dent—told Aquino in a five-para­graph let­ter sent at around 10 a.m. yes­ter­day that she was ac­cept­ing his “gra­cious in­vi­ta­tion.”

“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,” Car­pio-Morales wrote Aquino.

“Please con­sider this as an ac­cep­tance of your gra­cious in­vi­ta­tion. The honor is mine,” she said.

Car­pio-Morales had in­structed her staff not to re­lease to the me­dia a copy of her let­ter. But she ap­par­ently did not

pose an ob­jec­tion to the Aquino camp’smak­ing it pub­lic.

Lone dis­senter

In her let­ter, Car­pio-Morales thanked Aquino for his “kind words in de­scrib­ing what I con­sider to be a plain per­for­mance of an of­fi­cial func­tion—to up­hold and de­fend the Con­sti­tu­tion—which is part of the sworn duty of all pub­lic ser­vants in this coun­try.”

“Your par­ents, them­selves pub­lic ser­vants, be­queathed a last­ing legacy and left an in­deli­ble im­print in the life of the nation. What bet­ter trib­ute to them than a life of self­less ser­vice to the Filipino peo­ple they so dearly loved?” she said, re­fer­ring to the late Pres­i­dent Co­ra­zon Aquino and mar­tyred Sen. Benigno “Ni­noy” Aquino Jr.

Aquino for­mally asked Car­pi­oMo­rales on June 15 to ad­min­is­ter his oath of of­fice, and com­mended her for her dis­sent against the Supreme Court’s March 17 de­ci­sion au­tho­riz­ing Ms Ar­royo to ap­point a new chief jus­tice de­spite the con­sti­tu­tional ban on “mid­night ap­point­ments.”

Ear­lier, Aquino had de­clared that he did not want to be sworn into of­fice by Corona, as tra­di­tion would have it. He said he pre­ferred to take his oath be­fore the lone jus­tice in the 15mem­ber high court who main­tained that the Con­sti­tu­tion bars the out­go­ing Ms Ar­royo from ap­point­ing the re­place­ment of Chief Jus­tice Rey­nato Puno, who re­tired on May 17.

‘Keep it sim­ple’

Prepa­ra­tions for Aquino’s June 30 inaugural at the Quirino Grand­stand in Manila are un­der way, and his four sis­ters are will­ing to give up their seats to give way to VIP guests.

Ballsy Aquino-Cruz con­veyed this yes­ter­day to Pres­i­den­tial Man­age­ment Staff (PMS) chief Elena Bautista-Horn when she, Kris Aquino-Yap and Pinky AquinoA­bel­lada joined their brother’s inaugural com­mit­tee in in­spect­ing the inaugural site along with the Palace tran­si­tion team.

“My read­ing is that the sis­ters want to keep it sim­ple,” Horn said of the inaugural, which in­cludes the oath-tak­ing rites, a street party and the Palace re­cep­tion for the new Pres­i­dent.

She quoted Ballsy as say­ing that if there would be a prob­lem in ac­com­mo­dat­ing guests in the var­i­ous ac­tiv­i­ties on June 30, “the sis­ters are will­ing not to at­tend just to give space for the other im­por­tant guests.”

She said she found it a “hum­bling” ges­ture on the part of the Aquino sis­ters.

At a news con­fer­ence in Mala­cañang, the PMS chief ac­knowl­edged that in­deed it would be im­pos­si­ble to ac­com- mo­date ev­ery­one. She pointed out that for in­stance, the cer­e­mo­nial hall at the Palace could hold only 750 guests.

She said that at the meet­ing be­tween the two tran­si­tion teams, the Aquino sis­ters “did not ac­tively par­tic­i­pate” and merely lis­tened. She guessed that “they just wanted to see the place and how the prepa­ra­tions are go­ing.”

The mem­bers of the Aquino inaugural com­mit­tee who met with the Palace tran­si­tion team led byHorn in­clud­edMari­aMon­telibano and Bet­tina Os­meña.

Pro­to­col

Two chil­dren of Vice Pres­i­dent-elect Je­jo­mar Bi­nay—Makati Mayor-elect Jun­jun Bi­nay and Makati Rep. Abi­gail Bi­nay—also at­tended the meet­ing held at the hold­ing room of the Quirino Grand­stand.

Horn said she gave the Aquino team an ini­tial guest list but stressed that it was the lat­ter who had the fi­nal say on who to in­vite.

She re­fused to di­vulge the con­tents of the ini­tial list be­yond say­ing that it in­cluded the names of heads of state who had con­firmed their at­ten­dance.

Horn expressed ela­tion that Aquino had agreed to the tra­di­tional prac­tice of the Pres­i­den­t­elect and the out­go­ing Pres­i­dent ar­riv­ing to­gether at the inaugural site. She ex­plained the pro­to­col: Aquino will ar­rive at Mala­cañang. He and Pres­i­dent Ma­ca­pa­gal-Ar­royo will share a ride to the Quirino Grand­stand, where the lat­ter will be ac­corded ar­rival hon­ors by themil­i­tary.

Ms Ar­royo will then shake hands with Aquino, bid him farewell, and leave in her own ve­hi­cle.

Horn re­it­er­ated that in keep­ing with tra­di­tion, Ms Ar­royo would not stay for the inaugural.

“The inaugural cer­e­mony is the day of the new Pres­i­dent. He has to be the sole star of the show,” she told re­porters.

Ide­ally, the two Pres­i­dents should ar­rive at the Quirino Grand­stand at 11:40 or 11:45 a.m. be­cause the oath-tak­ing is sched­uled at noon, Horn said.

JIM GUIAO PUNZALAN

TIES THAT BIND Makati Mayor-elect Jun­jun Bi­nay and Kris Aquino talk dur­ing the plan­ning and prepa­ra­tion for the June 30 in­au­gu­ra­tion of Pres­i­dent-elect Benigno Aquino III. The two de­nied talk of a rift be­tween the two fam­i­lies and said their ties go...

MO­RALES: 1st wo­man jus­tice to ad­min­is­ter the Pres­i­dent’s oath of of­fice

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