De Lima elated over Carpio’s acceptance of CJ nomination

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Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has expressed elation over the acceptance of Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio of his automatic nomination to become the country’s next chief justice.

De Lima, a lawyer by profession, said she is “happy and relieved” to know that Carpio has accepted the nomination for the Chief Justice post given that the members of the Judiciary are called to do their part in upholding democracy and the rule of law.

“Amidst issues of great national importance that call out on the members of the Judiciary to preserve their independence and to do their part in upholding the Rule of Law and our Democracy, I am happy and relieved to find out that Senior Associate Justice Antonio T. Carpio has accepted the nomination to be the next Chief Justice of the Supreme Court,” she said in her recent Dispatch from Crame No. 401.

“While it is indubitable that he possesses the legal acumen and reasoning prowess to merit appointment to the highest judicial post in the country, it is his integrity and active patriotism that I respect the most,” she added.

Carpio, who is one of the three justices vying for the top judge post after the short stint of Chief Justice Teresita De Castro, formally accepted his automatic nomination for the top post last Oct. 12.

Maintaining that he saw no reason anymore to turn down the nomination, Carpio reportedly said, “There appears to be no legal impediment… There is no reason to decline.”

Carpio previously declined his nomination to the Chief Justice post which was vacated following the highly questionable removal of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno through a quo warranto proceeding. He cited “delicadeza” in declining the said nomination.

Meanwhile, the Senator from Bicol only has good words for Carpio whom she believes is the leader that the Judiciary deserves, and the champion of the Rule of Law that the Filipino people need.

She further lauded Carpio for “passionately, consistently and proactively” defending the country’s sovereignty against foreign incursions.

“He has shown that being a patriot is not inconsistent with maintaining the dignity and neutrality of a magistrate as, in fact, defending and advocating for the preservation of our sovereignty and territorial integrity are essential aspects of the solemn duty that every public official undertakes whenever they take the oath to protect the Constitution and our system of government,” she noted.

The most senior sitting magistrate of the High Court, Carpio is now on his 17th year in the SC. Aside from him, other justices who accepted the automatic nomination were Associate Justices Diosdado Peralta and Lucas Bersamin.

According to the Judicial and Bar Council, the application for the Chief Justice post is extended until October 26.

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