President Duterte had earlier denied that De Castro’s appointment to a post that she occupied for just over 40 days was not a reward for her battle against Maria Lourdes Sereno but because she was the most senior justice after Carpio, who had declined the appointment.
Miguel de Guzman
Antonio Carpio accepts Supreme Court chief justice nomination
Evelyn Macairan (The Philippine Star) - October 13, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio yesterday formally accepted his nomination for chief justice following the retirement of Teresita Leonardo-de Castro.

President Duterte had earlier denied that De Castro’s appointment to a post that she occupied for just over 40 days was not a reward for her battle against Maria Lourdes Sereno but because she was the most senior justice after Carpio, who had declined the appointment.

Duterte said he would base his appointments on seniority.

With Carpio confirming that he has accepted his nomination, there are now three senior Supreme Court (SC) justices vying for the chief justice position. The other two are Associate Justices Diosdado Peralta and Lucas Bersamin. 

This developed as the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) extended the deadline for applicants vying for the top SC post from Oct. 15 to 26. 

SC spokesperson Ma. Victoria Gleoresty Guerra said Carpio, acting chief justice, has so far only submitted his acceptance letter.

“Documents to follow,” according to lawyer Maria Teresa Sibulo, who heads Carpio’s judicial staff.

SC Associate Justice Mariano del Castillo declined his automatic nomination while Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said they are now waiting if Justice Estela Perlas-Bernabe would accept the nomination.

Carpio, the most senior magistrate by date of appointment to the SC, was bypassed for the position twice in 2010 and 2012. He will retire from the judiciary in October next year.

If appointed chief justice, Carpio will serve the SC as its top magistrate for one year.

In his letter last Oct. 12 to the JBC, Del Castillo stated: “I am honored to be automatically nominated to the post of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court... My compulsory retirement next year, however, compels me to respectfully decline the nomination.”

“I foresee that, as chairman of the 2018 Bar Examinations, my work will extend to the months just prior to my retirement. That will leave me not much time to embark on notable projects that a Chief Justice will normally want to have an imprint on.” 

Del Castillo will retire on July 29 next year when he turns 70.

By tradition, senior justices of the high court are automatically nominated for chief justice.

ANTONIO CARPIO MARIA LOURDES SERENO SUPREME COURT
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