Palace: It’s not harassment, justices must disclose assets
Dismissing the Supreme Court’s claim of potential harassment, Malacañang on Friday said it was not unreasonable to require the magistrates to publicly disclose their respective statements of assets, liabilities and net worth.
According to President Aquino’s spokesperson, Edwin Lacierda, the high court can easily change a ruling made during the term of Chief Justice Andres Narvasa in order to allow the publication of the justices’ statements.
He said changing rulings was not exactly new to the tribunal. “It’s an internal decision for them,” he said.
“In the history of the justices of the Supreme Court, there has never been any recorded harassment or threat to them,” Lacierda said in a news briefing.
He said members of the executive branch were more vulnerable to threats but had no policy against the public disclosure of their statements of worth.
“It is very, very clear that all government officials—and in fact the Supreme Court was mentioned in that particular constitutional provision—should disclose to the public their statement of assets and liabilities,” Lacierda said.
Lacierda also said that if the impeached Chief Justice Renato Corona resigned his post, Malacañang would welcome it.
“The whole idea, the goal, of impeachment is removal,” Lacierda said, and cited Malacañang’s welcome of the resignation of then Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez before her impeachment trial.
“If [Corona] should decide to resign, certainly that is something that we will welcome,” he said.
Lacierda expressed doubt that Corona’s impeachment would affect the country’s economy.
He said economic activity was continuing despite the ongoing political controversy between the executive and judicial branches of government.
“Like we said, the infrastructure projects are going to be implemented full-blown come January, so whatever is going to happen in the political landscape, the economic landscape will not be affected,” Lacierda said.
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