Sereno camp denies undeclared parcels of land

Trishia Billones, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 28 2018 11:17 AM | Updated as of Mar 28 2018 11:29 AM

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MANILA - Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno did not omit in her statements of assets, liabilities, and net worth 2 parcels of land as alleged in the articles of impeachment, her lawyer said Wednesday.

Sereno and her husband Mario Jose "categorically deny" owning a 2.24-hectare land in Bataan, worth about P44 million, lawyer Jojo Lacanilao said.

"Categorically, CJ Sereno and her husband deny that they own that land. Kailangan i-prove nila (prosecutors) na sila (Serenos) ang may-ari nito, kasi hindi nila kilala 'yang land na yan," Lacanilao told ANC's Headstart.

"It doesn’t even make sense. Lahat ng properties nila dineclare nila. Bakit nila hindi ide-declare a property like this? Itatago nila?" he said.

Lacanilao said their camp is "doubtful" about the land's supposed value because they had someone check the location and "it's not even reachable."

"We don't understand bakit naging P44 million 'yan or something like that...Siguro naghanap sila at siguro may nakita silang nandiyan yung pangalan, pero we categorically deny na ang may-ari niyan ay sina Mr. and Mrs. Sereno," he said.

The parcel of land in Davao, meanwhile, though declared in Sereno's SALN, was a "contiguous" land but had 2 titles.

The Chief Justice, however, faithfully declared the acquisition cost and fair market value, which was required by the law, said Lacanilao.

"It’s not important kung ilang lands yan, kundi yung property ay dineclare mo ba, tapos may cost ba? Tinago mo ba o hindi? Hindi tinago yang property sa Davao even if technically, dalawa ang titles niyan," he said.

In the articles of impeachment prepared by the House justice committee, the chief justice is accused of misdeclaring her wealth, which amount to culpable violation of the Constitution, among others.