MANILA, Philippines – As far as Chief Justice Renato Corona is concerned, the decision of clerk of court Enriquetta Esguerra-Vidal to surrender his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Networth to the impeachment court on Wednesday, January 18, should not merit punishment from the Court.
SC spokesperson Jose Midas Marquez said that Corona gave his legal team the green light to give the impeachment court his SALN, though this authorization was not relayed to Vidal herself. “It [surrender of SALN to impeachment court] was her judgment call,” Marquez said.
Vidal, who was subpoenaed by the impeachment court to appear at the trial and submit Corona’s SALN from 2002-2011 on January 18, initially refused to present Corona’s SALN, saying she needed clearance from the justices.
Vidal invoked the existing resolutions of the high tribunal which barred the disclosure of the SALN to the public as it could purportedly be used as a tool for harassment.
The Clerk of Court added that the subpoena has already been included in the agenda of the SC en banc on January 24.
Marquez refused to comment, however, if the case has already been rendered moot and academic following Vidal’s decision to surrender the SALN.
Aside from deciding on the subpoena of the impeachment court, the SC has yet to rule on a separate request made by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism in 2006 to have copies of the SALN of the magistrates.
The SC on January 17 asked the Sandiganbayan, the Court of Appeals, the Court of Tax Appeals and lower court judges’ associations to file their comments on the the re-evaluation of the resolutions involving SALN disclosure. – Rappler.com