SolGen urged to nullify Justice De Castro's appointment over missing SALNs

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 20 2018 12:33 PM

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MANILA - A private citizen is urging the Office of the Solicitor General to initiate quo warranto proceedings against Supreme Court Associate Justice Teresita De Castro on grounds similar to that of the ouster plea against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

In a letter sent to Solicitor General Jose Calida Friday, Jocelyn Acosta said De Castro only submitted 15 out of 39 statements of assets, liabilities, and net worth in her nearly 4 decades in the government. 

Acosta said De Castro, who also applied for the top position in the judiciary in 2012, along with Sereno, may have committed perjury when she said under oath during a Congressional inquiry that she met all the requirements of the Judicial and Bar Council. 

The failure of Sereno to submit several of her SALNs before the Judicial and Bar Council when she applied for the top post in the judiciary is the subject of the ouster plea filed by the Solicitor General against her.

The camp of Chief Justice Sereno earlier said they have a total of 11 SALNs in hand as they recover more of the missing documents from Sereno's 20 years as a law professor at the University of the Philippines.

The Supreme Court had wrapped up its debates on the petition seeking the nullification of Sereno's appointment where she and De Castro engaged in a fiery exchange.

The high court is set to release its decision on the matter in May, said Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio. Justice Noel Tijam, to whom the case was raffled to, reportedly circulated an initial 60-page draft decision last April 2. 

Tijam’s ponencia, the draft showed, grants the Solicitor General's plea, declaring Sereno’s appointment null and void due to her failure to meet the eligibility requirement set by the JBC.

--reports from Bianca Dava and Zandro Ochona, ABS-CBN News