Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno and Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio have joined forces on one issue—blocking the nomination of Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza for the post of a Supreme Court justice.
This was revealed in a petition for certiorari and mandamus filed by Jardeleza before the High Court on July 11, 2014.
It was Justice Secretary Leila de Lima who had blown the whistle on Carpio appearing before the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) to object to Jardeleza’s nomination.
De Lima said Carpio testified against Jardeleza when the SC senior associate justice viewed as least favorable the Solicitor General’s position that a row between Manila and Beijing over overlapping claims in the South China Sea could be defused by joint exploration of the resource-rich sea.
The Justice secretary is an ex-officio member of the JBC and an ally of Jardeleza being a former law partner of the Solicitor General.
Carpio and Jardeleza were classmates at the University of the Philippines College of Law.
Jardeleza landed third in the 1974 Bar examinations and Carpio 6th in the 1975 edition.
Carpio graduated one year late after being involved in a fraternity war.
According to a well-placed source of The Manila Times, Carpio is “professionally jealous” of Jardeleza.
Sereno, according to the source, dislikes Jardeleza due to rivalry between each other’s group at the UP College of Law.
The SC recently ordered the Chief Justice and the JBC to explain the alleged “railroading” of Jardeleza nomination for the lone vacancy in the High Court.
The opposition by Sereno and Carpio to the nomination of the Solicitor General forced the JBC scratch his name from a shortlist of nominees submitted to President Benigno Aquino 3rAd despite garnering a majority vote.
In his petition for certiorari and mandamus with application for a temporary restraining order, Jardeleza asked the SC “to declare Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Aranal-Sereno and the JBC as having acted in grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in not including [him]in the shortlist of nominees transmitted to the President on June 30, 2014.”