MANILA, Philippines – Deputy Speaker Gwendolyn Garcia said on Monday that Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno did not tell the truth in her income declaration for the years 2004 to 2008.
“The Chief Justice is once again found lying,” she said on Monday’s hearing of the House justice committee on the impeachment complaint against Sereno.
Garcia said the earnings reported by Sereno for five years, from 2004 to 2008, do not add up to the P30 million earnings she acknowledged having received for services in the litigation of Philippine International Air Terminals Company Incorporated (Piatco), builder of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport 3.
Sereno’s failure to declare her wealth in her Statement of Assets Liabilities and Net worth (SALN) was cited as an impeachable act alleged by lawyer Lorenzo Gadon.
The Bureau of Internal Revenue reported to the justice committee Sereno’s earning for the following years:
a) P7,207,513.56 in 2004
b) P12,367,562.36 in 2005
c) P1,396,631 for 2006
d) P3,633,076.42 for 2007
e) P4,559,308.24 in 2008
Garcia said a simple mathematical computation revealed that Sereno could not have told the truth.
Jojo Lacanilao, one of Sereno’s spokespersons insisted the chief magistrate declared her full earnings and paid the correct taxes.
“Chief Justice Sereno faithfully paid the taxes due covering the years 2004 to 2009 when she was the co-legal counsel of the Republic of the Philippines in the PIATCO case,” he said.
He maintained that Sereno has no tax evasion case and paid the correct taxes, amounting to P8.67 million for her PIATCO earnings.