Winnie Monsod explains why Sereno shouldn't be impeached

The Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno cited the failure to include the multimillion-peso income she received handling the arbitration case against the PIATCO (Philippine International Air Terminals Co. Inc.) as one of the reasons why Atty. Larry Gadon accused her for impeachment.
But this was dissented by former Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Winnie Monsod and said that having no indication of ₱30 million in any if of her SALN (Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth) from 2010 to 2016 is not a valid ground for impeachment.

Monsod explained that ₱30 million was not a lump sum but instead, it was a fee given over five years of service as a private lawyer by the government who hired Sereno for the PIATCO arbitration case.

“And since it was the government that paid her, it withheld about P8 million in taxes,” she said in her column on Philippine Daily Inquirer last October 7.

Monsod said that Serano declared her income to the Bureau of Internal Revenue as she got it. According to what she had written about the botched PIATCO deal since 2002,

“How could her 2010 SALN (she was appointed associate justice of the Supreme Court) include her income earned between 2004 and 2009? What it includes are the assets she bought with it,” Monsod said.

In the international arbitration case, Sereno represented the then-Department of Transportation and Communications involving PIATCO over the construction of the Ninoy Aquino International Terminal 3. In her contract, it was stated that she would be paid $80 per hour.

Monsod could not believe why Serano was acused of corruption just because of alleged failure to declare her earnings from the PIATCO case when she was only appointed to the Supreme Court in 2010. Monsod also noted that Godon was not the only one who made the allegation about Serano’s integrity when she filled out her SALN.  

“This is what Du30 is accusing her of—’…corruption, wala sa SALN diyan ang Piatco na yan’—without reading her answer to Lorenzo Gadon (who has had a pending case for disbarment since 2016),” Monsod said.


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