FOUR Supreme Court justices are vying for chief justice, a post that will be opened on Oct. 18 when Chief Justice Alfredo Benjamin S. Caguioa retires.

Justices Diosdado M. Peralta and Estela M. Perlas-Bernabe, who will both retire in 2022, accepted their automatic nominations, said Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra, a member of the Judicial and Bar Council.

Justices Andres B. Reyes, Jr. and Jose C. Reyes, Jr. are also vying for the top post, he said.

Meanwhile, Justice Alfredo Benjamin S. Caguioa declined his nomination, Mr. Guevarra said.

Justices Antonio T. Carpio and Marvic Mario Victor F. Leonen earlier declined their nominations.

Mr. Leonen, whom ex-President Benigno S.C. Aquino III had appointed, said his decision was the “right thing to do for myself, this court and this country.”

Mr. Carpio, whom former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo had appointed, declined “because there are only 8 days left from the vacancy to my compulsory retirement,” he said in a text message.

After serving in the court for 18 years, Mr. Carpio will retire on Oct. 26 when he reaches 70 years, a few days after the Mr. Bersamin retires.

Mr. Carpio had unsuccessfully applied for chief justice four times. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas