President Rodrigo Duterte defended his decision Wednesday to nominate Lucas Bersamino for the new Supreme Court, as critics accentuate him for allegedly violating the tradition of the judiciary.
The president said the original decision by the senior panel of judges, Antonio Carpia, before rejecting his candidacy for the chief judge, continued to stand, for which he chose Bersamine, whom he called "next in rank."
"Carpio, [Diosdado] Peralta, Bersamin – the sheet of a man for penguins [I was given five names]. I chose Bersamine, "said the president in his speech at Tubod, Lanao Del Norte.
"Si Carpio, ask yourself, please [he said he would not accept], so that [I chose the] next in action, "he added.
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Carpio previously rejected the nomination for the highest judicial position when he was declared vacant after taking former prime minister Maria Lourdes Sereno in May.
Carpio explained that he did not want to "use" the decision he voted against.
He served as the acting president of the judiciary for two years after he killed Sereno and the deceased late Renato Corona in May 2012.
Carpio is the oldest of the Judges of the Supreme Court and is now at his 17th year in the High Court.
Previously was Peralta, who was appointed to the Supreme Court in January 2009.
In the meantime, Bersamin (69) is the third highest judicial panel of the Supreme Court.
He graduated from the Law College in East College and placed his ninth in the 1973 exam.
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Carpio was a vocal critic of the positions of the president in the disputed areas of the Western Philippine Sea.
He was also a member of a Philippine panel that won the Philippines's arbitration case against China in 2016.
In the same speech, the president also urged Carpia to seek him from China to insist on arbitration.
"What do you want me to do?" Arbitrage? "So I will ask the army and the police to go to the Palavan and shoot them, that will be a massacre," the president said. / atm
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