MANILA, Philippines—The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed the disbarment complaint against acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio.
In a special en banc (full court) session, the high court said a Supreme Court Associate Justice could only be removed from office by impeachment as stated by the 1987 Constitution.
“We find no basis to proceed with the consideration of the Complaint-Affidavit in light of Article 11 Section 2 of the Constitution,” the high court said in its two-page resolution issued Friday.
Article 11 Section 2 of the Constitution provides that “the President, the Vice-President, the members of the Supreme Court, the members of the Constitutional Commissions and the Ombudsman may be removed from office, on impeachment…”
Carpio is the most senior justice of the Supreme Court and is automatically nominated for the top judicial post.
He has been slapped with a disbarment complaint by anti-crime crusader Lauro Vizconde, who accused him of using his influence to secure appointments to essential government posts.
Vizconde also accused Carpio of lobbying for the Suprene Court’s reversal of a lower court decision to convict Hubert Webb and his co-accused over the death of his wife Estrellita and daughters Carmela and Jennifer Vizconde in 1991.
The Integrated Bar of the Philippines had earlier said Carpio enjoys immunity and cannot be disbarred unless he is impeached first.