August 30, 2012 · Posted in: General
AT LONG last, after a 23-year regime of secrecy, the Supreme Court on Wednesday disclosed the Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN) of all its 14 justices, sans pomp and ceremony, and on the third day in office of the Philippines first woman Chief Justice, Maria Lourdes P. A. Sereno.
The high court released the justices’ SALNs for 2011 to a Solar TV reporter who had requested copies of the documents in June 2012, or nearly two months ago, or weeks after the tribunal released its Guidelines on the Release of SALNs on June 13, 2012.
The disclosure came three months after then Chief Justice Renato C. Corona was convicted by the Senate impeachment tribunal for his failure to disclose and declare the true and full details of his wealth. The House of Representatives had voted to impeach Corona in December 2012, but has also since refused to disclose the SALNs of all its 280 members.
The request of Solar TV was reportedly approved by the court en banc last August 10, but the actual documents were released only yesterday, Aug. 29, 2012.
A series of administrative guidelines issued en banc since 1989 had placed the asset records of the justices, judges, and all the personnel of the judiciary under lock and key, in clear defiance of “The SALN Law,” Republic Act No. 6713 or The Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees. The issuances had invariably explained that the disclosure of SALNs could place magistrates at risk of harm, harassment, and kidnapping from litigants and other parties.
The court’s June 2012 guidelines on the disclosure of SALNs was issued in response to multiple spurned requests for SALNs that media agencies and law students had filed over the last six years.
Reports from Solar TV and GMAnews bared initial data on the net worth of the justices, according to their SALNs:
1. Mariano Del Castillo — P108,904,519.37
2. Antonio Carpio — P79,895,025.57
3. Bienvenido Reyes — P75,146,199
4. Estela Perlas-Bernabe — P67,101,327
5. Roberto Abad — P42,100,000
6. Jose Mendoza — P27,408,152.36
7. Diosdado Peralta –P22,642,264.73
8. Martin Villarama, Jr. — P19,074,165.20
9. Lucas Bersamin — P18,811,447.87
10. Ma. Lourdes Sereno — P18,029,575.51
11. Jose Perez — P9,380,000
12. Teresita De Castro — P7,941,000
13. Presbitero Velasco, Jr. — P7,264,064
14. Arturo Brion — P1,498,509