Carpio formally declines chief justice nomination

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 24) — Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio on Tuesday formally declined his nomination for the top magistrate post.

The most senior associate justice turned down the post in a letter to the Judicial and Bar Council, which screens applicants to the judiciary.

"This is to confirm that I am declining the nomination for Chief Justice," Carpio said in a text message to CNN Philippines.

According to the rules of the JBC, the five most senior associate justices are automatically nominated for the post, but they have to formally accept the nomination. The other senior justices -- Associate Justices Presbitero Velasco Jr., Teresita Leonardo-de Castro, Diosdado Peralta and Lucas Bersamin -- have not accepted or declined their nomination.

Carpio assumed the post in an acting capacity on May 11, when the Supreme Court unseated Maria Lourdes Sereno. She was permanently removed from her post on June 19 as the High court junked her appeal.

Carpio was among the six justices who voted against Sereno's ouster.

He first revealed closing his door to any nomination in June, saying he wants to be consistent with his position that an impeachable official like Sereno could only be ousted through a Senate impeachment trial, as stated in the Constitution.

Sereno lost her post after eight of her 14 colleagues supported a quo warranto petition filed by Solicitor General Jose Calida. The petition challenged her right to hold office. Calida said Sereno failed to file statements of assets, liabilities, and net worth, a claim Sereno has repeatedly denied.