Sereno to Duterte: SC is transparent even without FOI law
MANILA, Philippines – Supreme Court (SC) Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno on Tuesday, December 5, responded to the call of President Rodrigo Duterte for the judiciary to enact measures of transparency.
Sereno said the SC has been transparent for years “even without a Freedom of Information (FOI) Law.”
"Even without a Freedom of Information Law, the judiciary has, in fact, done this starting from May 2012, as may be seen from the following, which are posted to the Supreme Court website," Sereno said in a statement on Tuesday.
Sereno was appointed Chief Justice in August 2012.
Sereno's statement comes amid calls to pass an FOI law, deemed more long term compared to the President’s Freedom of Information (FOI) Executive Order. (READ: Freedom of Information law: Will it pass under Duterte?)
Duterte sent out his call to Congress and the judiciary on December 4 on the first anniversary of his FOI Executive Order.
Sereno said the court is already deliberating on a draft rule on access to information about the Supreme Court “pursuant to its power to promulgate rules and its power to supervise the lower courts.”
“The Chief Justice shares the President’s expressed desire for greater transparency in government," Sereno said.
But while that’s under deliberation, Sereno said that the Court is already implementing policies to remain transparent.
Sereno noted that since 2012, they have been posting decisions, resolutions, and other information on the Supreme Court website.
The SC also has its own transparency page.
Sereno said that summaries of the Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) of the justices have been made available to the public since 2014.
Also available are relevant fiscal and financial data including disbursements from the Judiciary Development Fund (JDF) and annual procurement plans.
Sereno also said they livestream audio of oral arguments, and that the Public Information Office, through chief Theodore Te, provides updates via Twitter and weekly media briefings.
Sereno is undergoing impeachment proceedings over charges that include alleged unilateral actions inside the court and lavish spending using court funds. – Rappler.com