MANILA, Philippines --- Senior Justice Antonio T. Carpio, by operation of law, is now acting Chief Justice with the removal of Chief Justice Renato C. Corona as head of the Supreme Court (SC) and the entire Judiciary by the Senate sitting as impeachment court.
In a 20-3 vote, the Senate impeachment court found Corona guilty of betrayal of public trust and culpable violation of the Constitution for not including in his statement of assets, liabilities, and net worth (SALN) all his assets, particularly the $2.4 million and P80 million in bank deposits, which failure he admitted in his testimony during the trial.
The decision of the impeachment court is immediately executory and forecloses any appeal.
Justice Carpio will act as Chief Justice in temporary capacity until a permanent Chief Justice is appointed by President Benigno S. Aquino III from a list that would be submitted by the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC).
The JBC may submit a list of nominees for the position of Chief Justice and another list for the position of associate justice.
Under the Constitution, a vacancy in the judiciary has to be filled within 90 days from the occurrence of such vacancy.
If Justice Carpio is appointed permanent Chief Justice, an associate justice has to be appointed to complete the line-up in the 15-member SC that sits as a full court and in three divisions of five justices each.