By HILARIO G. DAVIDE JR.
Former Chief Justice
Former Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide Jr. wrote the chairman and members of the Judicial and Bar Council, urging it to consider acting Chief Justice Antonio T. Carpio a nominee for Chief Justice in good standing and urging Justice Carpio to reconsider his stand declining his nomination. His letter follows:
I LEARNED from the media that the Honorable Acting Chief Justice Antonio T. Carpio declined to be nominated for appointment to the position of Chief Justice which was declared vacant in the decision of the Supreme Court in the quo warranto case filed against Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes P.A. Sereno by the Solicitor General. The decision was declared final and immediately executory in the resolution of the Court denying the Motion for Reconsideration filed by the respondent.
I fully understand the position of Acting Chief Justice Carpio. A high sense of delicadeza was in his mind because he voted for the dismissal of the quo warranto on the ground that impeachment is the only process prescribed by the Constitution to remove a Chief Justice from office. He did not want to profit from the result of that he could not accept.
It may be stressed that the inclusion as nominees of the first five Justices of the Court for a vacant Chief Justice position is automatic and is a sound and wise self-executing tradition, policy and practice of the JBC. The reasons behind these are obvious. Thus, for all intents and purposes, the first five are nominees of the JBC itself. The rule on recommendations by another, association or organization in Section 5 of Rule 1 of the Revised Rules of the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC No. 2016-01) does not apply. The JBC is not required to apply the rule.
I pray that the JBC should not, in the highest interest of public service, give due course to the stand of Acting Chief Justice Carpio. It should consider him a nominee of good standing despite and inspite of such stand.
I finally pray for Acting Chief Justice Carpio to reconsider his stand. He had earlier been by-passed twice. Delicadeza should no longer be invoked because the decision in the quo warranto case is final. It has become the law of the case. The vacancy is real and lawful. He was not responsible for its occurrence. Personal consideration must now yield to the demands of public interest and of the good of the service. He should not deprive the President to have the opportunity for a wider field of choice for the best for the Supreme Court in particular and the Judiciary and the people in general.