Ayaw matawag na ‘one-day CJ’: Carpio says no to Duterte’s offer to realize dream of being chief justice

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President Rodrigo Duterte has reportedly offered to appoint Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio as Chief Justice a few days before his retirement on October 26.

But the founder of “The Firm” ( Carpio Villaraza and Cruz) turned it down, according to former Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban.

“On this fifth chance, I was told by someone close to the President (Lucio Singh) that the Chief Executive was open to elevating Carpio to serve for at least a day or two before his compulsory retirement,” wrote Panganiban in his Inquirer column.

“But Carpio preempted the President by again humbly declining the automatic nomination. Had he accepted the nomination and thereafter been appointed, he would have sported the dubious title of ‘Mr. One-Day Chief Justice’,” Panganiban added.

When Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin retired October 18 at 70 years old, this was Carpio’s fifth chance to become CJ.

Panganiban recalled that Carpio also refused to be nominated for his first chance as CJ in 2010 upn the retirement of Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno because he didn’t want to be known as “midnight CJ.”

“Though already the most senior, he declined his nomination due to his keen sense of ‘delicadeza’, because he voted against the Court’s decision authorizing President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, his former client, to appoint the CJ despite the constitutional ban against midnight appointments,” said Panganiban.

“When I asked why he declined, he quipped, ‘I do not want to be known as Mr. Midnight Chief Justice’,” he added.

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