SUPREME Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Aranal Sereno’s latest statements of assets liabilities and networth (SALN) for the year 2012 still does not reflect her earnings or attorney’s fees from the controversial Philippine International Air Terminals Co. (Piatco) case.
The case stemmed from the construction of the third international terminal of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport by German firm Fraport AG, which the government found onerous and subsequently cancelled.
Based on her 2012 SALN, Sereno has a net worth of P18,143,104.01.
In 2011, Sereno’s SALN showed a net worth of P18.029 million, or a slight increase over the P17.9 million declared in her 2010 SALN.
The latest SALN of Sereno covers the year ending Dec. 31, 2012.
It appears that she has total assets of P19,155,024.89 and total liabilities of P1,011,920.89.
However, Sereno’s net worth is way below her reported P25-million earnings in the Piatco case in the Singapore arbitration alone which cannot be seen in her SALN through any mathematical computation.
Based from the vouchers of payments coming from the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) which is in the possession of The Manila Times, it appears that foreign lawyers, local lawyers and consultants, including Sereno and her mentor retired SC Justice Florentino Feliciano got a whopping total of P2.6 billion worth of attorney’s fees and billings in connection with the Piatco suit before Washington and Singapore arbitrations.
This is in contrast with her bank accounts which show that Sereno had a cash in bank in the amount of P1,948,412.10. The banks were not specified in her SALN. No part of the P2.6 billion earnings from her attorney’s fees from the Piatco lawsuit can be seen or manifested in the SALN of Sereno. Her investments amounted to P1,150,000.00.
Sereno has stated in her Personal Data Sheet that she became a Legal Counsel from 1994 to 2008 in “Various government agencies of government—Office of the President, Office of the Solicitor General, Manila International Airport Authority, Department of Agriculture, Department of Trade and Industry, WTO-AFTA Commission, Philippine Coconut Authority.”
“(Nature of Work) Legal-various international trade and investment law disputes in WTO (Geneva), ICSID (Washington DC), in ICC-ICA (Singapore, Paris) and in bilateral dispute resolution mechanism,” the document says.
She has four cars, a Toyota Altis 2005 Model, Toyota Corolla 1997 Model, Mitsubishi Lancer 1993 model and Toyota Innova E 2013 model which is under installment payments.
Her residential properties totaled to P8,973,500.00 composed of four residential lots in Filinvest East, Cavite and Davao. A memorial lot in Cavite which was purchased in 1997 is valued at P60,000.
Sereno is married to Mario Jose Sereno and lives at 31 Hunt St. Filinvest Homes East, Antipolo, Rizal,
In 2010, it was reported that Sereno had an income of P874,000 per year as magistrate of the high court.
In the 2012 SALN there are additional liabilities included consisting of credit card billing amounting to P177,750.89 and housing loan balance at BPI Family Bank amounting to P834,170.00.
Previously, Sereno issued a statement stating that she had already indicated in her SALN the amount she earned as attorneys fees paid by the government to her in connection with cases involving the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3.
“The payment was made to her for services rendered from 23 October 2003 to 31 July 200, a period of more than four years and nine months,” Sereno pointed out.
In the meantime, Sereno thanked the media on her birthday despite numerous criticisms she is getting.
The elusive chief justice invited the media for lunch.
“Salamat sa serbisyo nyo sa bayan. Bukod tangi talaga ang ginagawa ninyong katungkulan,” Sereno said.