By: Elena Grace Flores
YouTube Video by ANC 24/7
Santiago: It is for the impeachment court to decide what is impeachable in terms of the SALN
The late Senator Meriam Defensor Santiago said that the culpable violation of the constitution and betrayal of public trust grounds over the failure to submit the SALNs can already be settled based on two things:
1. submission of the SALNs
2. disclosure to the public
The law should say that the SALN be declared and disclosed. Now, it’s just a matter of political question to make the offense impeachable or not,added Santiago.
Carpio’s Double Standard
The Manila Times quotes:
“I WOULD have resigned right away as that was a culpable violation of the Constitution,” retired associate justice Antonio Carpio told the Judicial Bar Council in July 2012. This was when he was being interviewed for his application to replace Chief Justice Renato Corona who was ousted in May that year.
Carpio was referring to allegations in 2012 that Corona had not filed accurately his Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN), which was one of the reasons for his impeachment.
But now Carpio is claiming that SALNs aren’t much of an issue in the case of Associate Justice Marvic Leonen.His impeachment complaint was filed just a week ago. One ground for which was his failure to file 15 SALNs.
Supreme Court Ruling on the SALN Issue
However, the Supreme Court rules that the determination over the SALN issue is a purely political question. It cannot be settled through a citation of authorities nor cases, according to the former Senator. Therefore, magistrates and lawmakers can be biased according to their own interests. So, to impeach or not to impeach Leonen remains a political question. It’s just a matter of gathering the majority of the votes.