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Qualified but…: Ex-CJ Panganiban tells why PNoy didn’t appoint Carpio as Chief Justice

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Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio came closest to becoming Chief Justice after the impeachment of the late Chief Justice Renato Corona but some people close to then-President Benigno Aquino III didn’t want him to get the job.

Former Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban shared the details of Carpio’s failed attempt in 2012 at becoming Chief Justice at the heels of the latter’s retirement on October 20.

In his October 20 column for the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Panganiban recalled Carpio being called to Malacañang for an interview with Aquino after Corona’s impeachment.

Carpio was then one of the abogados nominated by the Judicial and Bar Council to become Chief Justice.

“On his way home from the Palace, he (Carpio) called me, sadly saying, ‘The President told me that he had no doubts about my qualifications… However, he could not appoint me because some of his key Senate allies and three prominent business leaders opposed my promotion,” Panganiban said.

Carpio came close to becoming Chief Justice five times over his 18-year career at the Supreme Court.

He is currently the acting Chief Justice– his second time to hold the post– following the retirement of former Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin.

In recognition of Carpio’s contributions to the judiciary, the Supreme Court unanimously passed a resolution granting him the retirement benefits for a Chief Justice. He did not take part in the deliberations.

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