By Gabriela Baron
Retired Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio said tongue-in-cheek that he may have lost “a lot of friends” during his stint in the Supreme Court (SC) because he has always been a stickler for evidence.
Carpio revealed that his proudest decision was the Lambino vs COMELEC case, where the group of Raul Lambino and Erico Aumentado attempted to change the 1987 Constitution through a people’s initiative.
“The decision on the people’s initiative, the Sigaw ng Bayan: Lambino vs COMELEC case where President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo wanted to change the constitution through people’s initiative because the issue there would be whether we would convert [to] partliamentary or remain presidential by a mere people’s initiative. That would require [an] overhaul of the constitutional construction and that was not supposed to happen,” he said in an interview on ANC.
Carpio said he was the type of magistrate who refused to be pressured regarding his decisions on cases. In fact he refused to even talk about them with anyone.
“If you adopt that policy from the start, then they will respect you, they will not try to pressure you anymore,” the retired Justice continued.
As for his guiding light in making decisions, Carpio said it was the Constitution.
“The guide was, every Justice has to apply the Constitution, period. Abide the law and that’s it,” he underscored.
Carpio is known for opposing rulings which: allowed former president Joseph Estrada to run again for public office, acquitted former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo of plunder, granted former senator Juan Ponce Enrile’s plea to post bail, allowed dictator Ferdinand Marcos’s burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, declared valid the arrest of detained senator Leila de Lima, and the ouster of former Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno through a quo warranto petition.