Despite October retirement, Carpio again nominated as chief justice
Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio is once again nominated for chief justice, although he will retire one week after the retirement of Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin in October.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, a member of the Judicial Bar Council (JBC), confirmed this on Tuesday, July 30, justifying that as senior justice, Carpio still gets an automatic nomination.
It is Supreme Court tradition that the 5 most senior justices are automatically nominated when the chief justice post becomes vacant. Other applicants may either directly apply, or confirm nominations that will be sent by other sectors.
"It's up to Carpio if he will accept or decline, Justice Mariano Del Castillo declined before even if he had several months to go," Guevarra said.
Had Carpio not been automatically nominated, Associate Justice Andres Reyes Jr would have gotten the 5th automatic nomination. Reyes has consistently applied for the chief justice position, even when he was the most junior justice of the Supreme Court.
The 5 automatic nominations will go to the following: Carpio, Associate Justices Diosdado Peralta, Estela Perlas-Bernabe, Marvic Leonen, and Benjamin Caguioa.
Carpio and Peralta are appointees of former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, while the rest are appointees of ex-president Benigno Aquino III. Peralta had lost the chief justice post twice – to Teresita Leonardo De Castro and then to Bersamin.
The JBC waived its public interview requirement for senior magistrates when they were selecting De Castro's replacement. Leonen said before that improper questions by some JBC members led to that decision by the en banc.
Guevarra said the public interview is "still an issue at the JBC and SC."
Aside from Bersamin and Carpio, Associate Justice Francis Jardeleza is also retiring in September. Del Castillo retired on July 29.
With these retirements, there would only be 4 justices on the 15-person bench who are not appointees of President Rodrigo Duterte. They are Peralta, Bernabe, Leonen and Caguioa.
By 2022, only Leonen and Caguioa will be non-Duterte appointees in the Supreme Court. – Rappler.com
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