The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) was urged on Friday to proceed with the filing of a quo warranto petition seeking to void the appointment of Supreme Court (SC) Associate Justice Marvic Leonen over allegations of having skipped filing his statement of assets, liabilities, and net worth (SALNs).
“I hereby respectfully urge and respectfully reiterate my request for the Office of the Solicitor General to proceed with the filing of a quo warranto case against AJ Marivic Leonen on the ground of lack of integrity for not filing his complete SALNs,” read the letter of Atty. Lorenzo “Larry” Gadon addressed to Solicitor General Jose Calida.
Gadon made the push even though the Supreme Court (SC) last Sept. 15 issued a decision which denied his and the request of the OSG for copies of Leonen’s SALNs.
“The recent denial of the Supreme Court on my request for the release of certified copies of AJ Marivic Leonen’s SALNs should not dampen the advocacy in upholding the integrity requirement for members of the judiciary which was established in the Sereno quo warranto ruling,” the lawyer said.
The OSG also filed a quo warranto petition before the SC in 2018 that led to the ouster of then Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno for having skipped in the filing of her SALNs when she was still a professor at the University of the Philippines (UP).
“If Atty. Lourdes Sereno was ousted from the Supreme Court due to lack of integrity as exemplified by her non-filing of SALNs in UP for many years, then there is no reason why the same standard should not be applied to Associate Justice Marivic Leonen,” Gadon said.
Gadon said the high tribunal’s denial to access Leonen’s SALNs only invites suspicion among the public that the SC is “hiding something” and it is “giving AJ Marivic Leonen a special treatment and protection.”
“With due respect to the Honorable Supreme Court, I believe, in my more than 30 years of practicing law, that there is no lawful nor valid reason why my request for the certified copies of the SALNs of AJ Marivic Leonen can not be granted,” Gadon said.
He said the SC had granted his request for copies of Sereno’s SALNs prior her ouster as chief justice.
“Moreover, the right of any citizen for access to SALNs is clearly provided for under the law,” he added.
Gadon previously sent the OSG a letter dated Sept. 7 seeking the filing of a quo warranto petition against Leonen.
The lawyer sent the Sept. 7 letter after having learned from the column of former Press Secretary Rigoberto Tiglao that Leonen failed to file SALNs in 2003, 2008, and 2009 when he was still teaching at UP.
By: Jeffrey Damicog
This article was first published by Manila Bulletin