IBP backs Carpio as CJ
Despite his refusal to be nominated, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) on Tuesday endorsed acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio to succeed ousted Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.
The organization, where membership is mandatory for lawyers, said Carpio’s appointment would mark the return to the “tradition” of choosing the most senior member of the court as the Chief Justice.
IBP said it had to “face the reality” that President Duterte had to choose the next Chief Justice by Sept. 16, or 90 days after the Supreme Court’s decision to oust Sereno became final on June 19.
IBP was among several legal organizations that opposed the decision to remove Sereno through quo warranto proceedings instead of impeachment, which was stated in the Constitution.
“We 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,” said IBP national president Abdiel Fajardo in a statement on Tuesday.
Carpio last week said he would decline nomination as Chief Justice because he did not want to benefit from Sereno’s ouster.
He voted against the Supreme Court’s decision nullifying Sereno’s appointment as Chief Justice in 2012 for failure to file a complete set of her statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN).
Carpio, in his separate dissenting opinion, said Sereno committed culpable violation of the Constitution but should be removed only by impeachment.
The Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) on Monday opened the application and nomination period for Chief Justice and gave aspirants until July 26 to submit their applications and supporting documents, including their SALNs.
The JBC said five of the most senior justices of the high court were automatically nominated.
Carpio is the most senior member followed by Associate Justices Presbitero Velasco Jr., Teresita Leonardo De Castro, Diosdado Peralta and Lucas Bersamin.
Carpio will retired in October 2019 along with De Castro. Velasco will retire earlier this August.
Peralta will reach the retirement age of 70 in March 2022.
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