14 persons given copies of justices’ SALNs, says SC
MANILA, Philippines–The Supreme Court on Monday released a list of 14 persons who had received copies of the justices’ financial disclosures since 2012.
The list, issued by court spokesman Theodore Te, showed that 10 members of the media, a Bureau of Internal Revenue official and three students had received copies of the statements of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALNs) of the magistrates.
The media persons were Fritzie Cabial of TV5, Anjo Almario of Solar Television, Melissa Catherina Mañalac del Castillo, Mary Ann Senir and Mark Maruenas of GMA, Rowena Reformina of ABS-CBN, PCIJ’s Ma. Lourdes Mangahas, Nico Dino of Unlimited Productions Inc., Reynaldo Santos of Rappler and Christine Avendaño of the Inquirer.
Avendaño had requested the 2012 SALNs of the incumbent Supreme Court justices for the purpose of writing a story in the Inquirer.
“[I]t would be of public interest to know the financial details of the justices, [they] being public officials and thus always under public scrutiny,” she said in her request.
In pursuit of academic requirements, law students Rod Ryan Suaco of San Beda College, Katrina Calugay of De La Salle University and Denzel Edward Cariaga of Arellano University secured all or some of the justices’ SALNs.
BIR Assistant Commissioner James Roldan, head of the agency’s enforcement service, received in June last year copies of the SALNs of former Chief Justice Renato Corona from 2002 to 2011. The SALNs were to be used in the tax investigation of Corona then being conducted by the BIR.
The release of the list was prompted by the high court’s rejection of an application of BIR Commissioner Kim Henares to secure the justices’ SALNs in connection with a decision-fixing and influence-peddling scandal that erupted last year.
Taking up the cudgels for the BIR, President Aquino said in a television interview last week that the justices should release their SALNs.
“It’s in the Constitution. You need to file your SALN. We–the president, vice president, Supreme Court justices, heads of other constitutional commissions and, toward that end, officers of the [Armed Forces of the Philippines] with flag rank–have to make this statement public. If you want, I can find it for you,” Aquino had said.
On Saturday, Te said the Supreme Court justices “have not only been complying with the requirements on the SALN, but have made these available upon compliance with reasonable administrative requirements imposed by the court.”
Earlier, he explained that the justices had never said they were exempt from the SALN requirement or that they were creating a new rule for themselves.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.