Calida on Sereno: ‘She should be measured by the same yardstick’
Solicitor General Jose Calida on Friday told the Supreme Court that Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno should be measured by the same yardstick used for other public officials.
Quoting Sereno, herself in the PS Bank v. Senate Impeachment Court, Calida said “those who accept a public office do so cum onere, or with a burden, and are considered as accepting its burdens and obligations, together with its benefits.”
“They thereby subject themselves to all constitutional and legislative provisions relating thereto, and undertake to perform all the duties of their office. The public has the right to demand the performance of those duties,” Calida added further quoting Sereno in the 81-page memorandum he submitted to the High Court.
Calida said among the obligations imposed on public officers by the Constitution, Republic Act (RA) No. 3019 (Anti-Graft Law) and R.A. No. 6713 (Code of Conduct and Ethical Standard for Public Officials and Employees) is the annual filing of Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Networth (SALNs).
Sereno has been accused of failing to submit her SALNs while she was still a law professor at the University of the Philippines (UP).
“She cannot be excused from complying with the law by claiming that one cannot acquire ill-gotten wealth in UP. If lowly court employees could be penalized for failing to file SALNs, there is no reason why she should be considered eligible for appointment to the highest post in the judiciary,” Calida said.
“She can be measured by the same yardstick,” he added.
Calida insisted that Sereno’s non-compliance with the SALN requirement when she applied for the Chief Justice post has made her appointment void. /muf
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