MANILA, Philippines – Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio informed the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) that he is declining his nomination to become the next chief justice of the Supreme Court (SC).
“I am declining my automatic nomination for Chief Justice,” Carpio told the JBC in a letter.
As it stands, the other 4 most senior justices are nominated for the post: Associate Justices Presbitero Velasco Jr, Teresita Leonardo de Castro, Diosdado Peralta, and Lucas Bersamin. They have yet to respond to their nominations.
Velasco retires on August 8, De Castro in October, and Bersamin in October 2019. Peralta will serve up to March 2022.
The deadline for applications for chief justice is on July 26.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said the JBC has agreed that the senior justices, who were automatically nominated, must accept the nominations in order to be considered an applicant.
“The same rule will continue to be applied. The nominee, even the most senior one, must agree to be nominated,” Guevarra said.
By tradition, the en banc will have to vote who to recommend to the JBC. Court insiders said that whoever is recommended will guarantee one vote from Carpio, who is the ex-officio chairperson of the JBC in his capacity as acting chief justice.
Applicants will undergo public interviews, then a short list will be sent to President Rodrigo Duterte.
Duterte has 90 days from June 19 to choose the next chief justice. June 19 is when the chief justice post became officially vacant after the SC affirmed Sereno’s ouster. – Rappler.com