September 25, 2017, 1:37 am
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No need to put lawyer’s earnings in SALN: Sereno

CHIEF Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno yesterday said she need not disclose her earnings as a private lawyer in her Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN).

Sereno was reacting to one of the items in the impeachment complaint against her in the House of Representatives. 

Sereno’s spokesman, Carlo Cruz, said it is not reasonable that all of her earnings in the arbitration case against Piatco (reported as P15 million) prior to her becoming Chief Justice be declared, though he made it clear that Sereno did not hide them, and in fact paid the requisite taxes for it.

Lawyer Larry Gadon, in his impeachment complaint, said Sereno failed to report or include in her SALN the earnings she made when she represented the Philippine government in its case against the Philippine International Airport Terminals Co. (Piatco), builder of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3.

Sereno earlier said the impeachment complaint against her is unsupported by evidence and relies on hearsay, including newspaper clippings.

Cruz, in an interview over GMA’s News To Go, declined to give specifics on the answers that Sereno will submit to the House in response to the complaint.

But he said Sereno’s legal team headed by veteran lawyer Alexander Poblador is already readying her answers.

Though Sereno described the impeachment as one meant to erode her credibility, Cruz said they would focus on the allegations and not on any political angle or issues of the accusations.

“We have to focus on the charges because what we are fighting here for is not only the reputation of Chief Justice; it is our integrity and the integrity of the Supreme Court,” he added. 
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