Sereno orders full disclosure of her SALNBy Tetch Torres
MANILA, Philippines—Newly appointed Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno has ordered the full disclosure of her statement of assets, liabilities and net worth.
Early this year, Sereno, together with Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, released to the public a summary of their SALN.
The two released their statements at the height of the impeachment trial of then Chief Justice Renato Corona.
In her first en banc (full court) session as Chief Justice, she informed the other justices about her plan to fully disclose her wealth.
Sereno’s SALN will be made public even without compliance to the June 13 resolution issued by the high court.
The SALN which will be released by Sereno will be from the time she was appointed to the Supreme Court in August 2010.
The Supreme Court last June 13 issued a resolution allowing the release of the justices’ SALN subject to guidelines after justices of the Sandiganbayan, Court of Appeals, Court of Tax Appeals and judges of lower courts around the country have been consulted and agreed to make it public.
The guidelines, the high court said, would assure that “requests for SALNs must be made under circumstances that must not endanger, diminish or destroy the independence, and objectivity of the members of the Judiciary in the performance of their judicial functions or expose them to revenge for adverse decisions, kidnapping, extortion, blackmail or other untoward incidents.”
High court’s SALN became a contentious issue at the impeachment trial of Corona after he signed an unconditional waiver allowing the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC), the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to look into his bank accounts and business interest.
Corona’s act has been hailed as a good start to show transparency in the government with some members of Congress and Senator Francis Escudero signing similar waiver and challenged the other government officials to do the same.
Corona, however, has been removed from office after he admitted that he did not include in his SALN his $2.4 million deposit into four bank accounts and P80 million deposit in three bank account.