By Vann Marlo M. Villegas
ASSOCIATE Justice Antonio T. Carpio confirmed on Friday that he has accepted his automatic nomination for Chief Justice.
Mr. Carpio previously declined his automatic nomination when Maria Lourdes P.A. Sereno was ousted as chief justice via quo warranto, saying he voted against that petition by the Solicitor-General.
Meanwhile, the Judicial and Bar Council has extended the deadline on applications for chief justice from Oct. 15 to Oct. 26.
Ms. Sereno’s successor, Teresita J. Leonardo-De Castro, retired on Oct. 10 upon reaching the mandatory retirement age of 70.
Out of the five most senior justices automatically nominated for chief justice, only Justices Carpio, Diosdado M. Peralta, and Lucas P. Bersamin have accepted their nominations. The JBC has interviewed Messrs. Peralta and Bersamin.
Senior Associate Justice Mariano C. Del Castillo has declined his automatic nomination as chief justice, citing his retirement next year.
He also said, in a statement released by the SC Public Information Office, that his chairmanship of the 2018 Bar Examinations could affect his service as chief justice.
“I am honored to be automatically nominated to the post of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court…My compulsory retirement next year, however, compels me to respectfully decline the nomination,” Mr. Del Castillo said in the statement.
“I foresee that, as Chairperson of the 2018 Bar Examinations, my work will extend to the months just prior to my retirement. That will leave me not much time to embark on notable projects that a Chief Justice will normally want to have an imprint on,” he added.
Mr. Del Castillo is set to retire on July 29, 2019 when he reaches the mandatory retirement age of 70.
Senior Associate Justice Estela M. Perlas-Bernabe has yet to accept her nomination.