Sereno camp: Chief Justice complied with all JBC requirements

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The camp of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno insisted on Monday that she had complied with all the requirements of the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC), including the submission of Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALNs), when she was being considered for the top judicial post in 2012.

“The fact that the JBC shortlisted the Chief Justice means its members, including Associate Justice Diosdado Peralta who was then the acting chair, found her documentary submissions complete and compliant with the rules,” lawyer Jojo Lacanilao, one of Sereno’s spokespersons, said.

At the time the JBC was screening the candidates for Chief Justice in 2012, Lacanilao noted that Sereno submitted three SALNs which she filed since she was appointed Associate Justice of the Supreme Court in 2010.

The SALNs covered the years 2009, 2010 and 2011. Sereno was in private practice prior to her appointment to the high court.

Members of the House committee on justice and the Supreme Court justices are questioning why Sereno did not submit SALNs for the years before she joined the judiciary.

JBC executive officer Annaliza Ty-Capacite told the House body that the screening body considered the names of the candidates who have “substantially complied” with the SALN requirement.

Capacite testified that it was Senator Francis Escudero, then a JBC member representing Congress, who raised the issue of “substantial compliance” during one of the deliberations of the council.

She said that Escudero had pointed out that a candidate may be considered for as long as there was “substantial compliance or an attempt to comply with the requirement” on the submission of SALNs.