JBC interviews: Two justices attribute rise in net worth to allowances, wives’ incomes
Two senior associate justices of the Supreme Court attributed the increase in the incomes recorded on their Statements of Assets, Liabilities, and Networth (SALN) to the allowances they receive aside from the incomes of their wives.
The two justices — Associate Justices Lucas Bersamin and Diosdado Peralta — revealed this during the
Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) interview of the aspirants for the post vacated by ousted Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.
Atty. Maria Milagros N. Fernan-Cayosa, a JBC regular member representing the IBP, noted that Bersamin’s SALN has “remarkable” increases in income: by P2-million from 2014 to 2015 and by P3-million from 2016 to 2017.
On the other hand, Peralta’s SALN increased by more than P5 million from 2015 to 2017.
Cash deposit by Bersamin’s wife
Bersamin said his SALN is a joint declaration with his wife.
“The jump in my SALN was caused by the cash deposit made by my wife,” said Bersamin, who noted that his wife is a businesswoman engaged the sales and importation of high-end movie-making equipment.
“She deals with the government sporadically but I told her not to offer anything to the Supreme Court,” Bersamin said.
Bersamin added that his wife also invested in properties and bought a condominium unit which he only included in his SALN after it was fully paid.
Allowances as members of electoral tribunal
Meanwhile, Peralta said, like Bersamin, he also submitted a joint declaration with his wife, Court of Appeals Associate Justice Fernanda Lampas-Peralta.
Bersamin and Peralta both said they receive allowances as members of the electoral tribunal.
Both justices also noted that they receive remuneration when they became chairpersons of the Bar examination Committee. Peralta was chairman of the Bar Committee in 2014 while Bersamin, in 2017.
“Because of my Bar chairmanship, perhaps I will report another jump in my SALN next year,” said Bersamin.
Peralta, on the other hand, said he also received a lump sum from the Social Security System (SSS) after he reached the age of 65 because before he entered the judiciary, he was a lawyer in the private sector and a law professor.
He said the amount he received, more than P1-million, was also reflected in his SALN. /vvp
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