The Supreme Court has not received any invitation from the Duterte camp on who among the SC justices will administer the oath of office to Rodrigo Duterte as the new President of the Philippines.
Duterte will be sworn into office on June 30, 2016.He had said he will take his oath before “a justice of the Supreme Court.”
It was learned that the Duterte camp is looking at two of his classmates and fraternity brothers in the Lex Taliones Fraternity.
These are SC Justices Jose Catral Mendoza and Bienvenido Reyes , who rank 11th and 12th in the order of seniority of the High Court.
An SC magistrate said there are “feelers” that Duterte might take his oath before Mendoza or Reyes.
Seniority is a tradition inside the High Court and the junior justices might give way to the more senior magistrates of the court in swearing in Duterte.
In terms of years of length of stay in the SC and seniority, Justice Antonio Carpio takes precedence.
Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno will now be “technically” the most senior magistrate since she bypassed all other justices in taking the judiciary’s highest post, despite being one of the most junior justices when she was appointed by President Benigno Aquino 3rd.
“Seniority is well respected in the Supreme Court. It can be given to Chief Justice Sereno or if not to Justice Carpio, who also hails from Davao like [Duterte],” it was pointed out.
President Aquino started ignoring protocol when he took his oath of office before then-SC Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales, also then only the 3rd most senior in the High Court.
Aquino apparently believesd that then-Chief Justice Renato Corona was a “midnight appointee” of then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.