Calida urged to file ouster case vs De Castro
A private individual urged Solicitor General Jose Calida on Friday to also initiate an ouster petition against Supreme Court (SC) Associate Justice Teresita Leonardo de Castro for the reason that she allegedly likewise failed to submit her complete statement of assets, liabilities and networth (SALN) to the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC).
In her letter to Calida, Jocelyn Marie F. Acosta said De Castro is also lacking integrity after she submitted only 15 SALNs when she applied for the Chief Justice post in 2012.
Calida, the government’s lawyer, was the one who filed the quo warranto petition against Chief Justice on-leave Maria Lourdes Sereno, whom he accused of lacking integrity for failing to comply with the SALN requirement of the JBC.
Calida asserted that Sereno can be subjected to a quo warranto proceeding even if she is currently holding the Chief Justice position, which can only be removed via impeachment under the Constitution, simply because her appointment is invalid.
But according to Acosta, what the JBC required was that for all chief justice applicants and nominees to submit “all previous SALNs” – which contradicts De Castro’s claim that the panel only required 10 SALNs.
The JBC is tasked to screen aspirants to the judiciary.
“JBC records would show that Justice De Castro had only submitted her SALNs for 15 years when she has been in government service since 1973,” Acosta noted.
She then pointed out: “Following the logic employed by Mallari, Justice De Castro and yourself, Justice De Castro’s non-submission of all her SALNs since 1973 shows that she also has employed deception in claiming that she complied with the SALN requirement, thereby lacking integrity and is not qualified to sit as a Justice of the Supreme Court.”
Calida initiated the quo warranto case against Sereno following the letter of suspended lawyer Eligio Mallari.
“As a citizen of this country and as a taxpayer, I humbly request that the Solicitor General urgently initiate quo warranto proceedings against Associate Justice Teresita Leonardo De Castro for lacking integrity as a member of the Supreme Court,” Acosta said.
“I anticipate that you would act with the same zeal as you did when you received the letter of Atty. Mallarii,” Acosta added. /kga
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