MANILA - Supreme Court Associate Justice Lucas Bersamin has topped the tribunal's recommendations for the next chief justice.
Bersamin, the 5th most senior magistrate of the Supreme Court, received 10 votes from his peers, high court spokesperson Theodore Te confirmed Tuesday.
He was followed closely by Associate Justices Teresita De Castro and Diosdado Peralta, who got 9 votes each.
Associate Justice Andres Reyes Jr., the third appointee of President Rodrigo Duterte to the high court, meanwhile received 2 votes.
The vacancy for the chief justice post comes following the ouster of Maria Lourdes Sereno as the country's top magistrate last May.
All four associate justices voted for her ouster.
Results of the internal poll will be transmitted by Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio to the Judicial and Bar Council, the constitutional body tasked to screen applicants for posts in the judiciary.