THE SELECTION process for the country’s chief justice has been extended through Sept. 2, Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra said yesterday.

Four Supreme Court magistrates are vying for the top court position, whose application deadline was originally set for Aug. 20.

Justices Diosdado M. Peralta and Estela M. Perlas-Bernabe, who will both retire in 2022, have accepted their automatic nomination. Justices Andres B. Reyes, Jr. and Jose C. Reyes, Jr. are also vying for the post that will be opened when Chief Justice Lucas P. Bersamin retires on Oct. 18.

Justices Antonio T. Carpio, Marvic Mario Victor F. Leonen, and Alfredo Benjamin S. Caguioa, on the other hand, have declined their nominations.

Mr. Carpio, appointed by former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is retiring on Oct. 18. He served for 18 years in the High Court and unsuccessfully applied for the position four times.

Mr. Leonen, an appointee of ex-President Benigno S.C. Aquino III, said his decision was the “right thing to do for myself, this court and this country.” — Vann Marlo M. Villegas