Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta said there is need to protect members of the judiciary from threats by restricting public access to the statements of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALNs) of magistrates.
“We cannot release the SALN because there are matters there that are confidential in nature,” he said during a recent online Meet the Press event.
Peralta pointed this out in response to allegations that the high tribunal is protecting Supreme Court (SC) Justice Marvic Leonen.
Last Sept., the SC turned down the request of both the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) and lawyer Larry Gadon for the release of Leonen’s SALNs.
The OSG and Gadon are studying the possibility of filing quo warranto petitions for the removal of Leonen from the SC over allegations of skipping in the filing of SALNs when he was still a law professor at the University of the Philippines (UP).
“If we allow the release of SALN, in toto, lahat dun, you can just imagine yung mga judges na nag-decide ng cases against somebody,” Peralta said.
The chief justice pointed out that those who got the SALNs would know where judges reside as well as family members.
“We are also not only protecting ourselves but protecting also those judges in the lower courts,” he said.
“So we came up with the guidelines that we can only release yung summary,” he added.