President Duterte has the possibility that assistant court Antonio Carpio, the highest magistrate in the Supreme Court, succeeds incoming chief judge Teresita Leonardo-De Castro, discounted after she reached the mandatory retirement age of 70 years on 8 October.
Duterte said that Carpio himself had stated that he was not interested in the function of the chief magistrate.
"He publicly stated that he is not going to accept, so why force a person to accept a task he does not want This is a free country," the president said.
Carpio did not apply for the vacancy at the top post of the judiciary left behind by the deposition of former chief judge Maria Lourdes Sereno, because he did not want to benefit from her removal.
Mr. Duterte also told reporters on Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig, where he led the National Heroes Day Party on Monday, that "political colors" were not a factor in his choice for De Castro as the successor to Sereno.
Reward for support
He made the statement amid stubborn claims by lawmakers of the opposition that De Castro was rewarded for supporting Sereno & # 39; s deposition of the Supreme Court in May.
"In the civil service or the army is the seniority, and it would be the same for all judges, unless they refuse, or they choose to retire." It's like a train, first come, first promoted and applies to everyone, "he said.
"It is so, even in the army, in the government service [are] no political colors included. It is not allowed, so we have the merit system, "he added.
Mr. Duterte had openly called for Sereno's accusation by his allies in the House of Representatives because he had confirmed the authority of the judiciary over judges he had linked to illicit drugs.
De Castro was one of the eight judges who voted to oust Sereno through a quo warrant project of Solicitor General Jose Calida.
Last week, an indictment was filed against De Castro and six other magistrates for alleged violation of the constitution and betrayal of public trust in the deposition of Sereno.
Very short term
The De Castro term will be very short, because she will retire on October 8, when she turns 70. She will take her oath Friday, Duterte, according to president-assistant Christopher "Bong" Go.
As a former Sandiganbayan employee, De Castro was appointed associate of the Supreme Court in 2007 by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
On Monday Mr Duterte insisted that he did not personally know De Castro or one of the contenders for the job.
"I do not know any of them, I do not know any of them personally … They're all strange to me," he said.
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