Carpio’s P23M wealth jump was biggest in 2017 in the Supreme Court

Lian Buan
Carpio’s P23M wealth jump was biggest in 2017 in the Supreme Court
The acting chief justice's government salary accounts for only P6.8 million of the increase

MANILA, Philippines – Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio recorded the biggest jump in net worth for 2017 among 15 justices, according to the summary released by the Supreme Court on Tuesday, November 20.

Carpio’s net worth in 2017 jumped to P105.88 million from P82.64 million in 2016, which means a huge increase of P23.24 million.

Carpio earned only P6.83 million from his government salaries and allowances, according to the Commission on Audit or COA’s report on salaries and allowances.

The Supreme Court’s summaries show the increase came from Carpio’s personal properties.

All his personal property were worth P44.32 million in 2016, and grew to P67.56 million in 2017.

Further details cannot be seen from the summaries, because copies of the justices’ full Statements of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth are only available through a formal request which the en banc needs to hear and approve. (READ: Why don’t we know enough about Supreme Court justices’ wealth?)

Rappler’s request for the 2017 SALNs of the justices have been forwarded to the en banc, according to the latest update to us by the Clerk of Court.

Richest and poorest

Associate Justice Francis Jardeleza is still the richest with his P261.08 million net worth – an P8.9 million increase from 2016.

Associate Justice Mariano del Castillo is the second richest at P141.54 million, followed by Associate Justice Benjamin Caguioa at P123.8 million. Carpio is 4th, followed by Associate Justice Estela Perlas-Bernabe at P81.3 million.

Associate Justice Marvic Leonen, a longtime professor at the state-run University of the Philippines (UP), still has the lowest net worth at P2.96 million.

Retired Chief Justice Teresita Leonardo de Castro’s P19.76 million net worth does not yet reflect the retirement package as chief justice.

For 2017, based on their government salaries and allowances alone, Associate Justice Diosdado Peralta was the highest earner with P7.4 million, followed by Del Castillo, Carpio, Associate Justice Lucas Bersamin, De Castro and then ousted chief justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

No easy access

Increases in net worth are staple topics in Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) public interviews, except that the council removed the interview requirements for the selection of chief justice among Carpio, Peralta, Bersamin, and Associate Justice Andres Reyes Jr.

“Any public inquiry anew on matters pertaining to their SALNs and other personal matters in full view of the public thru live media coverage would not serve any substantially useful purpose,” said Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra earlier, defending the decision of the JBC. (READ: JBC needs more time to probe SALNs of chief justice applicants)

Rappler sent the Supreme Court Public Information Office on Tuesday queries on what caused the increases in the justices’ wealth, but we were redirected to our already pending request for copies of the full SALNs. – Rappler.com

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Lian Buan

Lian Buan covers justice and corruption for Rappler. She is interested in decisions, pleadings, audits, contracts, and other documents that establish a trail. If you have leads, email lian.buan@rappler.com or tweet @lianbuan.