AN opposition lawmaker on Tuesday said Supreme Court justices who voted to oust Maria Lourdes P.A. Sereno should inhibit themselves from nominations for the next chief justice.
Albay Representative Edcel C. Lagman said in a statement the justices “must decline their respective nominations for the vacant post of Chief Magistrate.”
“They must not profit from their controversial adverse decision against Sereno,” he said.
The Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) has begun the nominations, adding that the five most senior associate justices are automatically nominated.
Acting Chief Justice Antonio T. Carpio and Associate Justices Presbitero J. Velasco, Jr., Teresita L. de Castro, Diosdado M. Peralta, and Lucas P. Bersamin make up the initial roster of nominees.
Ms. de Castro and Messrs. Bersamin and Peralta were among those who voted to oust Ms. Sereno in the quo warranto case filed by Solicitor-General Jose C. Calida.
JBC said the nominations are still subject to a written acknowledgement by the said justices due on July 26. Mr. Carpio had earlier said in an interview with ANC he would decline his nomination.
But on Tuesday, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) in a statement said it will nominate Mr. Carpio.
“Carpio is the most senior of all incumbent justices in the Supreme Court and is (the) most qualified to lead and manage the Supreme Court and the entire Philippine judiciary,” IBP president Abdiel Dan E.S. Fajardo said. — Charmaine A. Tadalan and Dane Angelo M. Enerio