The Constitution provides that a vacancy in the SC should be filled within 90 days. This means President Rodrigo Duterte has until January 8 to appoint De Castro’s successor.
AP/Bullit Marquez
Carpio's stand on maritime dispute won't affect chief justice bid, Palace says
Kristine Joy Patag (Philstar.com) - November 26, 2018 - 7:19pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Palace on Monday said differences of opinion between President Rodrigo Duterte and Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio would not lower the latter’s chances to being appointed the next chief justice.

Duterte said that when he appointed retired Chief Justice Teresita De Castro to the post, he was following the “seniority rule.”

Carpio is the most senior justice in the list of five candidates that the Judicial and Bar Council picked to become the next chief justice. The vetted list was submitted to the Palace last week.

The two however have different stance on how to push for Philippine sovereignty in the maritime dispute with China. The senior justice has also been at the receiving end of Duterte’s tirades.

But Panelo said that criticism of the administration has not stopped Duterte from appointing people.

“If you will look at the history of the president, when he appointed Harry Roque as spokesperson, I remember during the campaign he was against the president,” the Palace spokesman said.

“And yet the president appointed him and became a member of the Cabinet,” Panelo pointed out.

Roque, who had initially supported Vice President Jejomar Binay, was part of an administration-friendly minority bloc at the House of Representatives.

Leftists appointed to Cabinet too

He also stressed that personalities associated with the left have also been designated to government posts.

In preparation for the resumption of formal peace talks in 2016, Duterte said he was willing to appoint NDFP nominees and progressives to the departments of Agrarian Reform, Environment, Labor, and Social Welfare and Development.

Last October, Duterte fired Labor Undersecretary Joel Maglungsod, former representative of Anakpawis party-list.

Meanwhile, National Anti-Poverty Commission chief Liza Maza stepped down from her post on August.  

Of those appointees, three — former Agrarian Secretary Rafael Mariano, former Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo and former Environment Secretary Gina Lopez — were rejected by the congressional Commission on Appointments.

“I don’t think you can derive a conclusion that just because someone is a critic of the admin he cannot be appointed,” Panelo also said.

Foregone conclusion?

But is it a “foregone conclusion” that Carpio would be the next head of the Judiciary?

Panelo, however, said that it does not necessarily follow. “It’s the president’s call. It’s discretionary,” the Palace spokesman added.

The top judge post has been vacant since the retirement of De Castro last October.

The 1987 Constitution provides that a vacancy in the SC should be filled within 90 days. This means President Rodrigo Duterte has until January 8 to appoint De Castro’s successor.

ANTONIO CARPIO CHIEF JUSTICE RODRIGO DUTERTE SUPREME COURT
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