MANILA, Philippines - Malacañang does not see the need for the Office of the Ombudsman to conduct an investigation into the alleged irregularities in the statement of assets, liabilities, and net worth (SALN) of newly-installed Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno.
Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda dismissed allegations that Sereno did not disclose in her SALN her earnings as one of the lawyers for the government on the NAIA-3 arbitration case.
"Not at this point, I suppose," Lacierda said, when asked if the Ombudsman should look into the allegations.
"These allegations should have been raised during the [Judicial and Bar Council process]. Now that they are being raised again, I think the best person to explain that would be Chief Justice Sereno. Narinig na namin 'yan noon pa e. Parang patuloy 'yung orchestra na 'yan ang sinasabi tungkol sa kanyang trabaho sa PIATCO. Lumabas na 'yan noong inappoint siya bilang Justice of the Supreme Court. So sa tingin ko, lumang tugtugin na 'yan e," he added.
Lacierda declined to comment further, confident that Sereno will be able to respond to the allegations.
"She has been appointed and at this point, we do not wish to already comment on any matter referring to Chief Justice Sereno. She's already in another branch of government... Mas mabuti pong si Chief Justice Sereno na lang po ang sumagot sa mga ganyang mga paratang. And I am sure she will be able to answer those questions," he said.
Asked about criticisms questioning Sereno's qualifications, Lacierda said: "Ang isang abilidad po ng isang husgado ay nakikita po sa kanyang mga desisyon. 'Yun na lang po ang magiging tanging basehan ng isang dunong ng isang husgado and I'm not just referring to Chief Justice Sereno, I'm referring to all the other justices as well or the judges."