Judges should be middle class: Sereno

By RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 26 2015 05:28 PM | Updated as of Mar 27 2015 01:28 AM

MANILA - Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno on Thursday said judges should live middle-class lifestyles.

Speaking at business forum in Makati City, Sereno said that unless a judge is assured he or she can send his or her children to a good school, there will be problems with that judge.

She pointed out that the Salary Standardization Law does not recognize middle-class lifestyles for judges who handle cases worth millions of pesos.

Starting last year, Sereno said the Supreme Court has been undertaking "serious house cleaning" by investigating allegations of corruption against members of the judiciary.

She cited the dismissal of Sandiganbayan Justice Gregory Ong over his links to alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Napoles, and the investigation of four Regional Trial Court (RTC) judges in connection with the election of officers in the Philippine Judges Association.

Ong was chairman of the anti-graft court's Fourth Division, which acquitted Napoles in 2010 in the questionable purchase of Kevlar helmets by the Philippine Marines.

From 2012 to September 2014, the SC imposed disciplinary sanctions on 115 judges that comprise five percent of the judiciary, as well as 177 lawyers.

The names of erring judges and lawyers will be posted online.