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Antonio Tirol Carpio (born October 26, 1949) is an incumbent Senior Associate Justice and, for four instances, acting Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines. He was sworn in as member of the High Court by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on October 26, 2001.

Antonio Carpio
J.carpio 2018.jpg
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines
In office
October 11, 2018 – November 28, 2018
Preceded byTeresita Leonardo-De Castro
Succeeded byLucas Bersamin
In office
May 14, 2018[1] – August 28, 2018[2]
Preceded byMaria Lourdes Sereno (de facto)
Succeeded byTeresita Leonardo-De Castro
In office
March 1, 2018 – May 9, 2018[a]
In office
May 29, 2012 – August 25, 2012
Preceded byRenato Corona
Succeeded byMaria Lourdes Sereno (de facto)
148th Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines
Assumed office
October 26, 2001
Appointed byGloria Macapagal Arroyo
Preceded byMinerva Gonzaga Reyes
Personal details
Born (1949-10-26) October 26, 1949 (age 69)
Davao City, Philippines
EducationAteneo de Manila University (BA)
University of the Philippines, Diliman (LLB)



Born in Davao City, Justice Carpio finished grade school and high school at the Basic Education Units of Ateneo de Davao University. He obtained his undergraduate degree in Economics from the Ateneo de Manila University in 1970 and his law degree from the University of the Philippines College of Law at UP Diliman where he graduated valedictorian and cum laude in 1975. He ranked sixth with a rating of 85.70% in the 1975 Philippine Bar Examination.[3]

Fresh out of law school, Justice Carpio went into private practice and founded the Carpio Villaraza and Cruz law firm.[4] He soon emerged as one of the more prominent and successful legal practitioners in the country. Justice Carpio also taught tax law, corporate law, and negotiable instruments law at the UP College of Law from 1983 to 1992.

In 1992, he joined the administration of President Fidel Ramos as Chief Presidential Legal Counsel of the Office of the President. As such he worked for major reforms in telecommunications, shipping, civil aviation, and insurance industries. During the presidency of Joseph Estrada, Carpio returned to private practice and penned a regular opinion column published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Justice Carpio was the first appointee of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to the Supreme Court of the Philippines after her assumption into office in January 2001. At the age of 52, he was one of the youngest appointees to the High Court.

Office of Antonio T. Carpio, new Supreme Court of the Philippines building.
Chambers of Carpio.

Justice Carpio has received the Presidential Medal of Merit by then President Fidel Ramos for his "distinguished and exemplary service" to the Republic, the Outstanding Achievement in Law Award from the Ateneo de Manila Alumni Association, and an honorary Doctorate of Laws from the Ateneo de Davao University. The University of the Philippines Alumni Association named him Outstanding U.P. Alumni in Public International Law in 2015 and the Most Distinguished Alumni in 2017.

Being the Senior Associate Justice, he assumed the post as the Acting Chief Justice in May 29, 2012 until the President appoints a new chief justice.[5] He assumed the post after his predecessor, Renato Corona was convicted by the Senate Impeachment court for his failure to disclose in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth, dollar accounts that led to his removal in office, a penalty authorized by the 1987 Constitution.[6] He assumed the post again on March 1, 2018 as Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno filed an indefinite leave in the midst of impeachment proceedings against her.

Presently, Senior Associate Justice Carpio is the Chair of the Second Division and Chair of the Senate Electoral Tribunal. He also heads the High Court's Committee on the Revision of the Rules of Court.[7]

South China Sea disputeEdit

Justice Carpio's personal advocacy is "to protect and preserve Philippine territorial and maritime sovereignty specifically in the West Philippine Sea." referring to an area of the South China Sea claimed by the Philippines.[8]

He believes in the importance of “an understanding by citizens of all claimant states...either to restrain extreme nationalism fueled by historical lies or to give hope to a just and durable settlement of the dispute based not only on the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) but also on respect for actual historical facts.”

In his speech 'Grand Theft of the Global Commons', Justice Carpio called "...the fishery Regulations of Hainan a grand theft of the global commons in the South China Sea." He also maintains that "The Philippines is fighting a legal battle not only for itself but also for all mankind. A victory for the Philippines is a victory for all States, coastal and landlocked, that China has shut out of the global commons in the South China Sea."[9]

In 2015, the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs sponsored Justice Carpio on a world lecture tour on the South China Sea dispute. Justice Carpio presented the Philippines’ historical and legal case on the dispute before think tanks and universities in 30 cities covering 17 countries.

In May 2017, Justice Carpio published an eBook titled "The South China Sea Dispute: Philippine Sovereign Rights and Jurisdiction in the West Philippine Sea". It is a collation of his over 140 lectures and speeches "intended to convince the Chinese people that the nine-dashed line has no legal or historical basis.". The eBook "explains in layman’s language the South China Sea dispute from A to Z." [10]

Notable opinionsEdit


  1. ^ Performed the duties of Chief Justice while Maria Lourdes Sereno was suspended.
  1. ^ "Carpio assumes anew as acting Chief Justice". Manila Bulletin. May 14, 2018. Retrieved May 16, 2018.
  2. ^ "De Castro is new Chief Justice until October". CNN Philippines. August 25, 2018. Retrieved August 25, 2018.
  3. ^ "CJSearch PROFILE: Senior Associate Justice Antonio Tirol Carpio". ABS-CBN News. 2012-07-19. Retrieved 2012-07-19.
  4. ^ "V&A Law".
  5. ^ Carpio is acting chief justice while Aquino searches for Corona replacement | GMA News Online | The Go-To Site for Filipinos Everywhere. (2012-05-30). Retrieved on 2012-07-15.
  6. ^ Senate convicts Corona 20-3 Archived 2012-05-31 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 2012-07-15.
  7. ^
  8. ^ Introduction of Lecturer for the Antiquarian Map Exhibit, Atty. Stephanie V. Gomez-Somera, 21 February 2015 Lopez Museum and Library
  9. ^ "'Grand Theft of the Global Commons'" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2015-06-12.
  10. ^ "The South China Sea Dispute: Philippine Sovereign Rights and Jurisdiction in the West Philippine Sea - Murillo Velarde Map" (eBook).

External linksEdit