MANILA - Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno on Friday said the release of the Supreme Court (SC) magistrates' statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) summaries is part of the high tribunal's move toward transparency.
In an ambush interview after the Independence Day celebration in Caloocan, Sereno said it is their duty to show to the public that the high court can be trusted.
"We have a positive duty -- and I don't think it's just a passive one -- to demonstrate to our people especially the judiciary that we can be trusted," Sereno said.
"I had been one for a more transparent life actually, so I had been advocating that. In 2012 the consensus was arrived at that we should actually release the SALN but there were specific guidelines," she said, explaining that personal details, about children for example, will not be released.
"But we agreed we would show the people our net worth, our assets and liabilities so that they can already see whether at the start we can already be trusted," she added.
According to Sereno, the release of the magistrates' SALN is not the end of their efforts to be transparent.
"We have been looking at the processes in court that we can open more to our people. We shall be unrolling more of these as the days come," she said.
The Chief Justice said they are also now looking at the possibility of releasing the SALN summaries of the magistrates and judges of all lower courts.
"[I] am already looking at the setting up of a committee to review the SALNs of members of the judiciary. We are looking at all of those measures," said Sereno.
SC Justice Francis Jardeleza posted the highest net worth at more than P244 million, followed by Justice Mariano Del Castillo with a net worth of P130 million then Justice Antonio Carpio with a net worth at P83 million.
Sereno came in at 10th with a net worth of P19 million. At the bottom of the list was Justice Marvic Leonen who had a net worth of P2 million.