Carpio to decline nominations as next CJ

MANILA Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio on Wednesday said he would decline all nominations for the top judiciary post, stressing that he doesn't want to benefit from the quo warranto petition which ousted Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno.

Carpio said he will formally decline the nominations once the Judicial and Bar Council starts the processing of applications for the post of chief justice.

On a personal level, because I voted against it, I don't want to benefit from it so I will decline any nomination. I have to be consistent with my position that the quo warranto was not the correct or proper way to remove a sitting member of the Court, Carpio said in a TV interview on Wednesday.

Though he voted against Sereno's removal, Carpio said the latter committed culpable violation of the Constitution when she failed to submit all her statement of assets, liabilities and net worth when she applied for the chief justice position in 2012.

Carpio was one of the six justices who dissented from the ruling which nullified Sereno's appointment as Chief Justice.

He was appointed to the high court by former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in 2001 and is set to retire from the judiciary in 2019.

Carpio, ex officio chair of the JBC, said they will meet next week regarding the selection process.

Asked what the JBC will do once he formally declines a nomination, Carpio said his name will not be included in the list to be submitted to Malacanang.

On Tuesday, the High Court denied with finality the motion for reconsideration filed by Sereno, who is the first top magistrate to be removed from office through quo warranto proceedings.

SC spokesperson Theodore Te said the voting stayed at 8-6 in favor of the quo warranto case against Sereno last May 11.

Those who voted to grant the quo warranto petition against Sereno were Associate Justices Teresita Leonardo-de Castro, Diosdado Peralta, Lucas Bersamin, Francis Jardeleza, Samuel Martires, Andres Reyes Jr., Alexander Gesmundo, and Noel Tijam - who penned the Court's decision.

Aside from Carpio, those who dissented were Associate Justices Presbitero Velasco, Mariano Del Castillo, Estela Perlas-Bernabe, Marvic Leonen and Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa.

In its decision, the SC ruled that Sereno's failure to submit her SALNs as law professor at the University of the Philippines would mean her integrity was not established at the time of her application, making her ineligible to hold her position.

The JBC is constitutionally mandated to screen applicants to the Judiciary and top Ombudsman positions.

It is currently chaired by Senior Associate Justice, now acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio, with ex-officio members Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, Senator Richard Gordon, and Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali. Its regular members include retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Jose Catral Mendoza, representing the justices and chairperson of the JBC Executive Committee, Atty. Jose Mejia, representing the Academe, Atty. Milagros Fernan-Cayosa, representing the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, and retired Judge Toribio Ilao, representing the private sector.

From the time of vacancy, President Duterte has 90 days to appoint the next Chief Justice. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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