Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio has accepted his automatic nomination for the Chief Justice post.
Carpio himself confirmed in a text message that he was officially joining the chief justice race.
After Maria Lourdes Sereno was ousted via quo warranto proceedings, by tradition, the five most senior justices of the Supreme Court have been automatically nominated for the post. However, they have to accept the nomination before they are considered candidates.
Carpio earlier declined the nomination, saying he does not want to benefit from a proceeding that he opposed. President Rodrigo Duterte then appointed Teresita Leonardo-De Castro who served as Chief Justice for one month and a half.
Following De Castro’s retirement, Carpio said he does not see any more reason to decline the nomination.
Carpio has been at the Supreme Court since October 2001, being the first appointee of then President, now Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
He is the third candidate to accept his nomination – first was Associate Justice Lucas Bersamin, followed by Associate Justice Diosdado Peralta.
Carpio’s nomination will determine if Duterte will stay true to his word that seniority was his biggest factor in appointing De Castro.
Carpio has not minced words in criticizing the government’s inaction on China’s militarization on the disputed islands in the West Philippine Sea./ac
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