SC rejects request for Leonen's SALN as Solgen, Gadon plan ouster
Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Leonen delivers a talk at the court's En Banc Hall on Mar. 21, 2019.
Supreme Court Public Information Office/released

SC rejects request for Leonen's SALN as Solgen, Gadon plan ouster

Kristine Joy Patag (Philstar.com) - September 15, 2020 - 3:46pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court rejected the requests of the Office of the Solicitor General and of lawyer Larry Gadon for a copy of Associate Justice Marvic Leonen’s wealth declaration document in preparation of a quo warranto petition.

The OSG filed a similar plea against ousted Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, whose appointment as head of the judiciary her colleagues at the Supreme Court voted to void.

“I would like to confirm that the Supreme Court in today’s En Banc session unanimously resolved to deny the requests of the Office of the Solicitor General and [Attorney] Lorenzo G. Gadon,” SC spokesperson Brian Hosaka said.

The OSG and Gadon had asked for copies of the Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth of, and other information pertaining to Leonen, “for purposes of preparing a Quo Warranto petition,” Hosaka said.

Leonen took no part in the resolution of the requests of the OSG and Gadon.

Asked if the justices explained their vote, Hosaka replied: “No reason was relayed to me. Best that we wait for the written resolution.”

OSG’s request

Gadon made his request to the SC known. He shared a copy of his letter dated September 7, the same day that the Manila Times published a column by Rigoberto Tiglao accusing Leonen of failing to file his SALN for 15 years.

Gadon, in his letter to Clerk of Court Henry Aricheta, asked the SC to grant his request for Leonen’s SALN from 1990 to 2011.

“As a precedent, it is on record that the undersigned also filed the same request for certified copies of [Sereno’s] SALNs, which the Honorable Supreme Court granted in its Order dated August 25, 2017,"Gadon said. Copies of which were used as the grounds for impeachment case against Sereno, which he later filed.

The OSG request for Leonen’s SALN was only made known through the SC Public Information Office’s statement on the denial of the request.

Leonen is known as one of the few dissenters at the SC.

SALN was central to Solicitor General Jose Calida’s quo warranto petition against Sereno in 2018. In his petition, Calida said Sereno “flunked the test of integrity when she failed to file more or less 10 SALNs (when she applied for chief justice position in 2012).”

When the SC granted Calida’s petition and booted out Sereno as chief justice, former SC justice Vicente Mendoza warned that this will “undermine the security of tenure guaranteed by the constitution to public officers who are simply removable by impeachment.”

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