MANILA -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will open her ears to all possibilities and suggestions in appointing the next chief justice.

This was the defense of deputy presidential spokesperson Gary Olivar following the views of two senior Supreme Court (SC) justices of not considering Judicial Bar Council (JBC) nomination should Arroyo make the appointment upon the retirement of Chief Justice Reynato Puno on May 17.

Olivar said that as they have always respect the views and interpretations of concerned legal officials about this issue, the “judicial views” of Associate Justice Antonio Carpio and cousin Associate Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales will also be taken into account.

Antonio and Conchita, who are the most senior and third most senior justice in the high tribunal, respectively, have expressed interest in the chief justice post only upon the choice of the next President.

“We expect that this does not reflect any personal animosity on his (Antonio) part towards the President but rather his own considered view about the appointment of next chief justice,” Olivar said. (Jill Beltran/Sunnex)