MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Overturning a more than two-decade-old guideline, the Supreme Court said it will release the 2011 Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) of “all judges and justices” in the country.
Meeting en banc, the SC decided Wednesday, May 30, to release the SALN of all 14 SC justices, as well as the justices of the Court of Appeals, Sandiganbayan, Court of Tax Appeals, and the country’s judges.
The country has about 2,000 justices and judges.
Facing the media after a special en banc session called by Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio, new SC spokesperson Gleo Guerra said that this was a “collective decision” made by the justices who met a day after their chief was convicted by the impeachment court and removed immediately from office.
The SC will release the guidelines on the release of the SALNs on June 13, Guerra added. (We earlier erroneously reported that June 13 was the deadline for the SALN release. We regret the error. – Eds.)
Insiders said one SC justice opposed the release but was outvoted by the majority. The justice was not identified though.
In the past, invoking a 1989 resolution, the SC banned the public disclosure of the SALN copies of the justices. Corona himself used this as basis for his refusal to disclose his SALN.
Two justices early this year granted a Rappler request for copies of their SALN, Carpio and Justice Ma Lourdes Sereno. But they only issued summaries.
Guerra however said that the decision of the SC en banc Wednesday was to release the SALN in full.
In April, when Corona was still chief justice, the 15 members of the High Tribunal submitted their SALNs to the Clerk of Court. But then SC spokesman Jose Midas Marquez said that the Court was withholding their public disclosure in line with the 1989 resolution.
Breaking their recess, the justices met Wednesday for their special en banc session. – With reports from Purple Romero/Rappler.com