Carpio formalizes bid to become next Chief Justice-A A +A
Monday, July 2, 2012
MANILA (3rd Update, 6:01 p.m.) -- Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio has formally joined 24 other individuals wanting to replace ousted Renato Corona as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
Carpio submitted his letter of acceptance to the nomination at 1:55 p.m., three hours before the screening body Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) closes the application period.
"I greatly appreciate that you automatically included me in the list of nominees," he told the JBC.
In a speech before the Central Luzon-based lawyers last week, Carpio said he is willing to lead the judiciary if given the chance. He also pitched the need for a computerized management system in all courts to lessen clogged dockets, which resulted in the delay of the administration of justice.
Carpio, 62, was Corona's fiercest rival to the post two years ago but he declined to pursue his candidacy, noting that appointments to the judiciary during presidential elections are illegal under the Constitution.
He is currently the acting Chief Justice after Corona was removed by the Senate impeachment court last May 29 for betrayal of public trust and culpable violation of the Constitution for concealing multi-million peso cash deposits in his asset statement.
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima and SC Associate Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno also sent to the JBC letters of intent to join the race. Sereno is President Benigno Aquino III’s first appointee to the highest court of the land.
"With great appreciation for the trust and confidence their nomination implies, and entirely mindful of the importance of the role of the Chief Justice as an institution, it is with utmost humility and with the deepest sense of responsibility, that I accept their nomination," de Lima said.
De Lima received nominations from the following individuals/groups: Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption, Integrated Bar of the Philippines-Zambales chapter, San Beda Law Alumni Association and lawyer Reynaldo Bagatsing.
Both de Lima and Carpio earlier inhibited in the JBC deliberations when it comes to the selection process for the next top magistrate. They are both ex-officio members.
Also on Monday, Supreme Court Justices Presbitero Velasco Jr., Teresita Leonardo-de Castro, Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza and Cagayan de Oro City Representative Rufus Rodriguez accepted the nomination while SC Justices Jose Perez and Lucas Bersamin and Public Attorney’s Office Chief Persida Rueda-Acosta turned down their respective endorsements.
"The undersigned begs off from this distinct privilege in view of her ardent commitment to the PAO and its mandated clients nationwide," Acosta said in her letter.
Completing the list of those who already accepted their nominations are Supreme Court Associate Justices Arturo Brion and Roberto Abad, Professor Soledad Cagampang De Castro, De La Salle College of Law Dean Jose Manuel Diokno, women's rights lawyer Katrina Legarda, lawyer Rafael Morales, ex-University of the Philippines Law Dean Raul Pangalangan, Elections Commissioner Rene Sarmiento, retired Judge Manuel Siayngco Jr., former Ateneo de Manila Law Dean Cesar Villanueva, ex-San Juan City Representative Ronaldo Zamora, Securities and Exchange Commission Chairperson Teresita Herbosa, University of the East Law Dean Amado Valdez, lawyer Ferdinand Jose Pijao, Manila regional trial court Judge Amelia Tria-Infante, Presidential Commission on Good Government Chairman Andres Bautista and lawyers Vicente Velasquez and Vincent Veloso.
President Benigno Aquino III is required to name the new top magistrate 90 days following the vacancy or until August 28.(Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)