The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) on Tuesday endorsed the nomination of Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio for the Chief Justice position, which is now vacant following the ouster of Maria Lourdes Sereno through a quo warranto petition filed by the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG).
The lawyers’ group, led by its national president Abdiel Dan Elijah Fajardo, said the IBP through its Board of Governors endorsed Carpio for the top judiciary post.
“We are faced with the reality that the Supreme Court itself has set into motion the appointment of Chief Justice vice Ma. Lourdes P. A. Sereno. We thus support the return to, and the recognition of the wisdom, of the long-standing tradition of seniority in the appointment to the highest office of the judiciary, the Supreme Court Chief Justice,” Fajardo said in a statement.
Traditionally, the five most senior justices of the high court are automatically nominated for the Chief Justice post.
Aside from Carpio, the four most senior justices include Associate Justices Presbitero Velasco Jr., Teresita Leonardo De Castro, Diosdado Peralta and Lucas Bersamin.
Velasco and De Castro, however, are mandated to retire in August and October this year, respectively.
Peralta, who ranks fourth in terms of seniorty, has still four years before retirement.
Carpio earlier said he would decline all nominations for the top judiciary post, stressing that he doesn’t want to benefit from the quo warranto petition that ousted Sereno.
Though he voted against Sereno’s removal, Carpio said the latter committed culpable violation of the Constitution when she failed to submit all her statement of assets, liabilities and net worth when she applied for the chief justice position in 2012.
Carpio was one of the six justices who dissented from the ruling that nullified Sereno’s appointment as Chief Justice.
He was appointed to the high court by former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in 2001 and is set to retire from the judiciary in 2019.
Asked what the JBC will do once he formally declines a nomination, Carpio said his name will not be included on the list of nominees to be submitted to Malacañang.
On Monday, the JBC officially opened the application for the position of Chief Justice.
In a statement Monday, the Supreme Court (SC) Public Information Office said the deadline for filing and completing all requirements is on July 26. PNA