The Supreme Court has an institutional view that Statements of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALNs) should not be used to diminish the independence or destroy the objectivity of judges and justices.
That’s why, in 2012, it came out with an administrative resolution to be stricter with the release of justices’ and judges’ SALNs. Former tax commissioner Kim Henares was denied her request for justices’ SALNs based on this rule.
In 2018, the Supreme Court voted 8-6 to oust former chief justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, saying that her alleged non-filing of SALNs from years back amounted to a lack of integrity, a constitutional requirement for a member of the Court.
In 2019, the en banc again denied the requests of several people, including journalists, for copies of the justices’ SALNs. And, in 2020, the en banc denied the request of the Solicitor General for Associate Justice Marvic Leonen’s SALNs, based on the 2012 rule.
Is there an irony here? “In terms of principle, yes,” said constitutional law professor and political analyst Tony La Viña.
But La Viña believes that obtaining copies of the SALN for political reasons, outside of the strict rules of investigation and prosecution, should not be allowed.
In this episode, we will discuss the evolution of the SALN in the political process – from being ignored to supposedly being weaponized and, in the case of Sereno, overly glorified.
Listen to past episodes:
- Episode 1 Part 1: Supreme Court’s most controversial decisions
- Episode 1 Part 2: Department of Justice’s evolving definition of warrantless arrests
- Episode 2: The rule of law in the time of the coronavirus
- Episode 3: Pandemic and the great wall of free speech
- Episode 4: Will petition to disclose Duterte health work?
- Episode 5: Legal difficulties of a prisoner mass release
- Episode 6: Breaking down the ABS-CBN franchise legal and political issues
- Episode 7: ABS-CBN and the 3 tangled branches of government
- Episode 8: Are extraordinary writs still effective in the time of Duterte?
- Episode 9: Dissecting anti-terror bill and threats to freedoms
- Episode 10: The problems with the Cybercrime Law
- Episode 11: Can we trust the gov’t panel probing drug war deaths?
- Episode 12: Why press freedom is legally protected
- Episode 13: What is People’s Initiative and will it work for ABS-CBN?
- Episode 14: The new push for death penalty
- Episode 15: A State of terror
- Episode 16: GCTA’s thorn – Do bad men deserve good things?
- Episode 17: Policies beyond body count of Duterte’s drug war
- Episode 18: Can we really bring Xi Jinping to the ICC?
- Episode 19: Philippine courts and the death of baby River
- Episode 20: Deep dive into anti-terror law IRR
If you have tips and suggestions for episodes, email the host at email@example.com. – Rappler.com