CJ spokesperson: SALNs filed by 2 SC justices only ‘substantial compliance’ | Inquirer News

CJ spokesperson: SALNs filed by 2 SC justices only ‘substantial compliance’

By: - Reporter / @JLeonenINQ
/ 05:04 PM March 27, 2018

The submissions of Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio and Associate Justice Teresita De Castro of their previous statements of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) in 2012 were only “substantial compliance,” a spokesperson of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno said on Tuesday.

Lawyer Josa Deinla, in a statement, said that De Castro’s claim of a “baseless 10-year SALN requirement” in one of her many appearances before the House Committee on Justice was “self-serving.”

“With all due respect, the claim that the JBC [Judicial and Bar Council] required only 10 years of SALNs was Justice De Castro’s self-serving assertion that is contradicted by the JBC’s own announcement and its records,” Deinla said.


Deinla stressed that the JBC itself waived the requirement to submit all SALNs up to Dec. 31, 2011 after 14 of the candidates “could not comply.”


Sereno’s spokesman made the remark after Carpio and De Castro “made public their respective certifications from the JBC that they submitted at least 10 SALNs when they also applied for the top judicial post nearly six years ago.”

“We want to clarify that in 2012 the JBC did not merely require 10 years but all previous SALNs up to Dec. 31, 2011 for those in government,” Deinla said.

In making the clarification, Deinla cited a JBC announcement on the vacancy of the chief justice post in 2012, adding that it was published in newspapers.

The spokeswoman said that De Castro, who had been in government service since 1973, only submitted 15 SALNs when “she was bound to submit 39 SALNs” under JBC’s original requirement.

In Carpio’s case, Deinla said that he only submitted SALNs from 2001 to 2012 when he was a member of the high court, “but he could not complete his SALN submissions when he was Chief Presidential Legal Counsel from 1992 to 1996. He could only submit to the JBC his SALNs for 1992 to 1994.”

“As a result, the minutes of the July 20, 2012 JBC meeting stated that Carpio and De Castro were among those deemed to have ‘substantially complied’,” Deinla said.


Deinla said that Sereno submitted to the JBC her SALNs from 2009 to 2012, which she filed as an SC associate justice.

“She resigned from the University of the Philippines in 2006 and went into private practice until her appointment to the high court in 2010,” Deinla said. “With respect to her UP SALNs, Sereno told the JBC that since her records were more than 15 years old, it was not feasible for her to retrieve all the documents.”

Considering that many of the candidates like Sereno, Carpio, and De Castro could not comply, Deinla said the JBC waived the requirement of complete submission of previous SALNs by all applicants.

“There is nothing irregular about the acceptance of the SALNs as substantial compliance even if the JBC originally required all previous SALNs,” Deinla stressed.

“The JBC could relax its requirement because the submission of SALNs is not a constitutional requirement but a JBC requirement which the council can waive,” she said, adding that “mere non-submission of SALNs to the JBC is not proof of non-filing.”

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Moreover, Deinla said that the fact that the JBC waived the requirement to submit all SALNs proves that “there is no basis for the quo warranto petition against CJ Sereno.” /atm

TAGS: JBC, Josa Deinla, SALN, Supreme Court

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