• Carpio will decline any nomination for Chief Justice
  • The most senior magistrate said he cannot benefit from the decision which he voted against
  • He no longer ‘hankers for position’ at this point, he admitted

MANILA, Philippines – Being one of the magistrates who voted against the ouster of Maria Lourdes Sereno via a quo warranto petition, Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio said he will decline any nomination to succeed as the next Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

Carpio, the most senior magistrate and currently the acting Chief Justice, explained in an ANC interview that he must be consistent with his position that a quo warranto petition is not the proper way to remove a sitting justice of the high court.

Carpio said that, as the acting head of the institution at the moment, it is his job to implement the decision of the court and will have to declare the position vacant, thereby opening it for application.

“On a personal level, because I voted against it, I don’t want to benefit from it so I will decline any nomination,” Carpio said; adding that turning down any nomination means his name will no longer be included on the list to be submitted by the Judicial Bar Council (JBC), which he heads, to the President.

“I have to be consistent with my position that the quo warranto was not the proper way to remove a sitting member of the court,” he added.

No longer hankers for position

Carpio was one of the 6 justices who dissented in the ruling that ousted Sereno last month. This week, the SC en banc denied Sereno’s appeal with finality with an identical 8-6 votes.

Image from Kit Young’s Facebook post

And since he is due to retire in 2019, Carpio said he no longer “hanker for any position at this point.”

He also explained that being a Chief Justice does not mean the other magistrates will follow your vote since each of them has only one vote.

“If you are a chief justice, you only have one vote, same as a vote of an associate justice. It doesn’t mean that because you’re a chief justice, the other justice will follow you. They will follow you if your ponencia is correct, convincing, powerful,” he said.

Carpio was shortlisted by JBC in 2012 as one of the potential candidates to replace former Chief Justice Renato Corona who was removed via impeachment.

Former President Benigno Aquino III eventually picked Sereno; the youngest in the list to become the 169th member of the court.