Carpio turns down chief justice post nominations

Carpio turns down chief justice post nominations
In an interview with ANC, Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio—who was among the justices who voted against Solicitor General Jose Calida’s petition—said he has to be “consistent” with his position with the quo warranto ruling.
Philstar.com / Jonathan Asuncion

MANILA, Philippines — Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio on Tuesday has officially turned down his nominations to become the Philippines' next chief justice.

In a report by The STAR, Carpio has filed a letter to the Judicial and Bar Council formally declining the nominations.

Apart from his automatic nomination to the chief justice post, the most senior official of the high court has received recommendations from the Integrated Bar of the Philippines and former Chief Justice Hilario Davide.

The IBP, that boasts of 40,000 lawyer-members, said that Carpio as the country’s top judge will mark the “return to, and recognition of the wisdom, of the long-standing tradition of seniority in the appointment to the highest office of the judiciary, the Supreme Court chief justice.”

Davide, for his part, “prayed” that JBC will “not...give due course” to Carpio’s stand “in the highest interest of public service.”

“Delicadeza should no longer be invoked because the decision in the quo warranto case is final. It has become the law of the case,” Davide added.

The two nominations came even after Carpio has earlier said in a TV interview that he would decline his nomination to the chief justice post.

The senior justice said that he has to be consistent with his position on the government’s quo warranto ruling that ousted Maria Lourdes Sereno as chief justice. “On a personal level, because I have voted against it, I don’t want to benefit from it, so I will decline any nomination,” Carpio added.

Carpio was a member of the legal team that fought, and won, the country’s case on the West Philippine Sea before a United Nations-backed tribunal. He continues to issue statements that run in contrast with the current administration’s position on the maritime dispute with China.

Carpio, in a separate interview on CNN Philippines, earlier said the Philippines’ sovereignty is “far more important than any position.”

On Thursday, the JBC will close the open call for applications for the country’s top judge post.

Others who are automatically nominated to the chief justice post are Associate Justices Presbitero Velasco Jr., Teresita Leonardo-De Castro, Diosdado Peralta and Lucas Bersamin.

Velasco is due to retire on August 8, while De Castro will hang up her SC justice robes on October 8. — Kristine Joy Patag

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