Bersamin accepts nomination for CJ post

MANILA — Supreme Court Associate Justice Lucas Bersamin has accepted the nomination for the country’s top judiciary post.

This was confirmed by Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, an ex-officio member of the JBC, in a text message sent to Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Tuesday afternoon.

“SC Associate Justice Lucas Bersamin has accepted his automatic nomination for the CJ post today,” Guevarra said.

Under the rules, while the five most senior justices are automatically nominated for the chief justice post, they still have to formally accept the nomination to be officially considered as nominee or applicant.

Aside from Bersamin, the four other Senior Justices are acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio, Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco Jr., Teresita Leonardo de Castro and Diosdado Peralta.

Velasco and de Castro, however, are mandated to retire in August and October, respectively.

Guevarra also said that Peralta is also expected to formally accept his nomination on Wednesday, July 25.

On Tuesday, Carpio, who voted against the granting of the quo warranto petition, declined his nomination as ousted Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno’s replacement out of delicadeza.

Carpio dissented from the May 11 ruling that ousted Sereno, stressing that a justice of the High Court should only be removed from office through an impeachment proceeding.

Bersamin and Peralta were among the six justices who were sought by Sereno to inhibit from participating in the deliberation of the quo warranto petition filed by Solicitor General Jose Calida, which was eventually granted by the Court in a decision issued last May 11, 2018. The decision became final on June 19, 2018.

The quo warranto petition sought the nullification of Sereno’s appointment as Chief Justice for her failure to comply with the requirements to qualify for the position.

Bersamin and Peralta were both appointed by then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Bersamin was appointed to the High Court on April 2, 2009 and Peralta on January 13, 2009.

The JBC has set its first deliberation for the Chief Justice post on August 3, a week after the deadline for the submission of applications and nominations for the post on July 26.

The SC formally opened last June 26 the search for the post of Chief Justice.