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Davide urges twice-bypassed Carpio to be open about getting CJ post

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Despite Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio’s pronouncement that he will decline any nomination for the Chief Justice post, former Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr. endorsed Carpio’s nomination to the vacancy following the ouster of Maria Lourdes Sereno through a quo warranto petition filed by the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG).

In a letter to the Judicial Bar Council (JBC), Davide said he learned from media reports of Carpio’s decision to decline any nomination to the post vacated by then Sereno.

“He did not want to profit from the result of that he could not accept. I finally pray for Acting Chief Justice Carpio to reconsider his stand. He had earlier been by-passed twice. Delicadeza should no longer be invoked because the decision in the quo warranto case is final. It has become the law of the case,” Davide said in his letter.

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.

“It may be stressed that the inclusion as nominees of the first five Justices of the Court for a vacant Chief Justice position is automatic and is a sound and wise self-executing tradition, policy and practice of the JBC. The reasons behind these are obvious. Thus, for all intents and purposes, the first five are nominees of the JBC itself. The rule on recommendations by another, association or organization in Section 5 of Rule 1 of the Revised Rules of the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC No. 2016-01) does not apply. The JBC is not required to apply the rule,” Davide said.

“I pray that the JBC should not, in the highest interest of public service, give due course to the stand of Acting Chief Justice Carpio. It should consider him a nominee of good standing despite and in spite of such stand,” Davide noted.

“Personal consideration must now yield to the demands of public interest and of the good of the service. He should not deprive the President to have the opportunity for a wider field of choice for the best for the Supreme Court in particular and the Judiciary and the people in general,” he said.

Carpio earlier said he would decline all nominations for the top judiciary post, stressing that he does not 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 (SALN) when she applied for the chief justice post in 2012.

Carpio was one of the six justices who dissented from the ruling that nullified Sereno’s appointment as Chief Justice.

Peralta, who ranks fourth in terms of seniority, has still four years before retirement.

Earlier, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines had recommended the appointment of Carpio as head of the judiciary. It had also asked President Duterte to uphold the seniority rule in the appointments in the judiciary

The JBC had declared open the applications or nominations for the position of Chief Justice that was vacated June 19 with the ouster of Sereno.

The JBC set the deadline for filing and completion of all requirements on July 26, 2018. (PNA)

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