PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON Harry L. Roque, Jr. on Monday said it was up to the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) whether or not it would nominate Acting Chief Justice Antonio T. Carpio as chief justice.
“That’s their decision,” Mr. Roque told reporters in a text message, when sought for comment on JBC ex-officio member Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra’s remarks that the appointing body might include Mr. Carpio on the list of Chief Justice candidates, even if he said he was not interested in the post.
Almost a month after Ma. Lourdes P.A. Sereno’s ouster as Chief Justice on June 19, the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) has yet to receive an application for that position, according to Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra and lawyer Jose V. Mejia.
As the most senior member of the Supreme Court (SC), Mr. Carpio is automatically nominated should he submit a letter to the JBC. The rule applies to the five most senior justices sitting in the high court.
Mr. Carpio dissented in the Supreme Court’s May 11 decision which granted Solicitor-General Jose C. Calida’s quo warranto petition voiding Ms. Sereno’s appointment for not completely submitting her Statements of Assets and Liabilities (SALN) to the JBC as a requirement to the post.
Mr. Carpio has said he will decline all nominations to the post after receiving nominations from former Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr. and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP.) He added he would “soon” submit a formal letter to President Rodrigo R. Duterte to decline all nominations.
Mr. Mejia, another ex-officio member of the JBC like Mr. Guevarra, said the five most senior justices still have to formally accept the nomination to be officially considered as a candidate. — Dane Angelo M. Enerio