Will Carpio go back on his word re: CJ nomination? PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 20 July 2018 13:37

KAKAMPI MO ANG BATAS

BY Atty. BATAS MAURICIO

IFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “… But the noble make noble plans, and by noble deeds they stand…” (Isaiah 32:8, the Holy Bible).

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WILL CARPIO GO BACK ON HIS WORD RE: CJ NOMINATION? Many justices, judges, and lawyers in the Philippines today are literally on the edges of their seats, biting their fingernails with bated breaths while they excitedly await further developments in the on-going selection of a new Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, especially in the light of the decision of Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio declining any nomination in his favor for the post vacated by Maria Lourdes Aranal Sereno.

Indeed, because the Court has no chief justice at the moment after Sereno was ousted by the Supreme Court itself, there is a need to appoint a new one. And because Carpio has been there for quite some time as an associate justice, he is automatically nominated for possible selection. Unfortunately, that automatic nomination in his favor lost its efficacy because he already declined any nomination.

Carpio declined his nomination to become chief justice in an interview by a Manila TVl lady broadcaster. That did not, however, prevent many from asking him to reconsider and turn around from his pronouncement, and go back on his word, on the issue. Now, will Justice Carpio heed the clamor for him to go back on his word? What did he really say in the interview? Let us read the transcript of that interview (which can be accessed in full at www.facebook.com/attybatas).

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CARPIO’S INTERVIEW WHERE HE DECLINED NOMINATION: Lady Broadcaster (LB): “But then when you already look for nominees (for the position of Chief Justice), what happens is, people will go through interviews again, am I right?” J. Carpio (JC): “Normally, yes.” LB: “Yes. Considering that you’re retiring in 2019, are you still willing to go through that again, if a colleague nominates you honestly”.

JC: “Well, you see, as I said, I look at this at two levels. As head of the institution right now, although temporary, I will have to implement that decision of the court, that there is a vacancy, so we will open 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.”

LB: “Ahh, you’re going to decline any nomination.” JC:

“Yes”. LB: “So this means, if you decline any nomination, you will not accept the post of chief justice, if ever.” JC: “No, if you decline a nomination, then your name will not be included in the list to be submitted to the President…” LB “Yah, unless he chooses you outright.”

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NO ONE WHO IS NOT IN THE JBC LIST CAN BE APPOINTED:

Justice Carpio (JC): “No, the President has to choose from the list of nominees submitted by the JBC (Judicial and Bar Council). He cannot choose outside of the list.” Lady Broadcaster (LB): “I see. Okay, which now means, okay, so, whether or not the President wants someone, whoever it may be, it doesn’t have to be you, if that persons is not in the JBC List, the President cannot choose that person, that’s one.”

JC: “That’s correct.”

LB: “And, two, you refuse to be in the list.” JC: “Well, because of my position. I have to be consistent with my position that quo warranto is not the proper way to remove a sitting member of the court. So I don’t want to benefit from the decision to which I disagreed.” LB: “Yes”.

JC: “But I will have to implement it, because I am the temporary head of the institution.” LB: “Yah. How have you reached this point in your career where you are able to, it seems to me that, you’ve already detached and found frankly that post unimportant to you at this phase in your life?” JC: “Well, I’m about to retire so there’s really no… I don’t hanker for any position at this point.” LB: “Yah.”

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CARPIO IS A MAN OF INTEGRITY AND PRINCIPLES AND OF HIS WORD, EVEN THEN: It is undeniable that Carpio is one person possessed with integrity, and a stickler for his principles. If we look at his personal background, he is known for not going back on any of his word, not for the sake of any friend or associate, nor even if the reason that is being advanced to make him break his promise involves the welfare of the country. As a former Grand Archon of the UP College of Law, Carpio is used to upholding his word as the law.