Carpio proposes clipping President’s powers in appointing SC justices
MANILA, Philippines — Retiring Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio on Tuesday said the 1987 Constitution may be amended so that the President will no longer be the sole authority to appoint justices in the Supreme Court.
He suggested that should the Philippine government rewrite the Constitution “in a future time,” it could state that a third of the 12-member SC shall be appointed by the President, a third by the parliament or legislature, and a third by the SC itself.
“So that no one man can appoint everyone,” Carpio said in an interview over CNN Philippines when asked of his opinion on the fact that the SC will have 11 members who are appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte.
“Maybe that should be the lesson from this circumstance in history where one person will be appointing 12 of the members of the Court,” he added.
While the Constitution cannot be questioned, Carpio said that the Filipino people could “profit” from the current circumstance and “use that to improve the Constitution next time.”
Meanwhile, Carpio advised the President to consider a candidate’s independence in choosing the next SC chief justice.
“I’ve always said that the number one quality should be independence.. Because independence goes to the very core of being a judge,” he said.
“A judge has to be impartial and being impartial, you must be your own man, you must be independent,” he added.
Carpio is set to retire this Friday, Oct. 26, after serving 18 years in the Judiciary.
During his stint, he gave birth to 935 full-blown decisions, 79 dissenting opinions, 30 concurring opinions, 13 separate opinions, and four concurring and dissenting opinions.
He will bow out of the Supreme Court with zero backlog. /je
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