MALACAÑANG on Sunday prodded Supreme Court justices to make public their respective Statements of Assets Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN), saying transparency and accountability are the real issues that should be given priority.
In an interview over state-run dzRB, Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the issue of transparency and openness is of the highest interest of the people.
Coloma rallied the public to join the government in its call to compel magistrates of the High Court to make available their SALN, reminding them that the issue had already caused the impeachment of a Chief Justice.
He was referring to the impeachment of Renato Corona in 2012, who was found guilty by the Senate, which sat as an impeachment court, of lying about his true assets and liabilities.
“Corona’s removal from office for lying about his assets should serve as a reminder of how important such disclosure is, in ensuring accountability by all public servants,” Coloma said.
He added that there is a law pertaining to SALN disclosure in line with the “principles of openness, transparency and accountability” to the people.
Last week, Malacanang spokesman Edwin Lacierda took the cudgels for the administration’s allies in the House of Representatives who are conducting a probe on the Judiciary Development Fund (JDF), saying the SC’s refusal to cooperate showed its lack of regard for transparency.
“The President himself has disclosed his SALN. The same thing with all Cabinet officials. If we may recall, this [SALN] was among the highlights of the impeachment trial. The public is well aware of the importance of disclosing SALN,” he pointed out.
Lacierda said the High Court has not been totally open when it comes to matters of fund use or even the filing of magistrates’ SALN.
“There will always be issues, for instance, on transparency. At least, at the very least in the executive branch, we have always been transparent with our, with what we do, with what we implement,” he told a news briefing.