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Monday, March 4, 2024

Leonen skipped SALN filing 15 times–OMB

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Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Leonen did not file his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) 15 times while working as professor at the University of the Philippines College of Law, records obtained from the Office of the Ombudsman (OMB) revealed.

Citing the OMB documents, lawyer Lorenzo “Larry” Gadon on Sunday accused Leonen of “deliberately violating” the SALN Law for not filing the required appropriate statements during his stint at the UP College of Law.

The documents obtained from the Presidential Communications Operations Office, which the agency got from the Ombudsman, showed the supposed violations of Leonen on SALN Law.

The law requires all government officials and employees to submit a document that enumerates all the properties they owned and liabilities they owed.

This includes officials, professors, instructors, and employees of UP, since it is a government-owned and funded university.

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Even Supreme Court magistrates are duty-bound to abide and enforce the SALN Law.

Gadon lamented that if OMB records disclosed that Leonen refused to file his SALN 15 times, the second most senior justice of the Supreme Court is “worse” than ousted Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno, who did not submit her SALN six times while working as a law professor at the UP College of Law.

Sereno was ousted as chief magistrate of the Supreme Court for deliberately violating the SALN Law and some provisions of the 1987 Constitution.

Citing documents that the PCOO obtained from OMB, Gadon said Leonen only filed his SALN in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007.

These were seen as Leonen’s preparation for his pending promotion as dean of the UP College of Law in 2008.

After his appointment, Leonen did not submit his SALN. OMB records further revealed that Leonen filed his SALN in 2010 and 2011, two years before he was appointed to the Supreme Court by then-President Benigno Cojuangco Aquino III in November 2012.

Leonen’s supposed violation of the SALN Law is one of the charges that Edwin Cordevilla, secretary-general of the Filipino League of Advocates of Good Governance-Maharlika (FLAGG-Maharlika), included in his impeachment case against Leonen.

The other cases were Leonen’s alleged snail-paced action on the cases that were raffled to his office since 2013, and on the electoral protests that have been lodged before the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET), of which Leonen is the head.

FLAGG-Maharlika accused Leonen of his supposed “culpable violation of the Constitution” in the impeachment complaint it filed at the House of Representatives.

Cordevilla stressed to the media that his case against Leonen was extremely strong in form and in substance.

According to the House leadership, it has slated the discussion on the impeachment charges against Leonen on May 17 once Congress resumes before sending it to the Senate.

The Senate will serve as court that will try Leonen during the impeachment trial.

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