Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno failed to disclose P37 million in legal fees she earned as government researcher in arbitration cases heard overseas involving Ninoy Aquino International Airport 3 (NAIA 3).
She did not declare these legal fees in her Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) for 2014, according to an unimpeachable source of The Manila Times.
Sereno, according to the source, collected P22 million from the arbitration case in Washington, D.C., between the Philippine government and the consortium Philippine International Air Terminals Co. Inc. (Piatco) and P15 million in the arbitration case in Singapore between the same parties.
The P37 million that the Chief Justice received from the cases, The Manila Times source said, has not been reflected in her SALN since 2010, when she entered the Supreme Court as associate justice.
She declared a net worth of only P17.9 million in 2010, P18.029 million in 2011, P18,143,04.01 in 2012, P19,012,648.21 in 2013 and P20,158, 513.35 in 2014.
In Sereno’s latest SALN, she declared P8,973,500 in real property and P11,185,013.35 in personal property, for a total of P20,158,513.35.
Also in her 2014 SALN, she declared P574,409.01 in liabilities.
Sereno is married to Mario Jose Sereno and living in Antipolo City, Rizal.
Also in her latest SALN, she did not specify if assets of her husband were included in the declaration.
Sereno had stated in her Personal Data Sheet (PDS) that she became a legal counsel from 1994 to 2008 in “[v]arious 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.”
Her PDS also stated, “[Nature of Work] Legal-various international trade and investment law disputes in WTO [Geneva], ICSID [Washington, D.C.], in ICC-ICA [Singapore, Paris] and in bilateral dispute resolution mechanism.”
WTO is the World Trade Organization; ICSID, the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes; and ICC-ICA, the International Chamber of Commerce-International Court of Arbitration.