Cabinet execs, justices take home millions in pay, perks

Posted at 07/14/2014 9:21 AM

MANILA - Cabinet members and justices of the Supreme Court (SC), Sandiganbayan and the Court of Appeals take home millions of pesos in basic pay and allowances, a Commission on Audit (COA) report on salaries, allowances and other benefits shows.

In fact, SC justices are among the highest paid officials in the country. They receive higher pay than Cabinet members.

They get allowances from the high court and the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), which is the entire SC itself. Six of them receive additional allowances from the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) and the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET), in which they sit as members.

SC justices earned between P3.5 million to P5.7 million in 2013, or from around P300,000 to P475,000 a month. Their basic pay was P1.1 million a year and the bulk of their income came from allowances.

Sandiganbayan justices took home between P2.2 million and P2.7 million, while appellate justices received P1.8 million to P2.5 million.

Presbitero Velasco Jr., HRET chairman, is the highest paid member of the high court. He received P5.572 million last year – P3.3 million from SC, P1.6 million from HRET and P822,000 from PET.

Following him is Lucas Bersamin, who earned P5.520 million – P3.2 million from SC, P1.5 million from HRET and P822,000 from PET.

In third place is another HRET member, Diosdado Peralta, who was paid a total of P5.357 million – P3 million from SC, P1.5 million from HRET and P822,000 from PET.

Antonio Carpio came in fourth, with P5.297 million – P3.2 million from SC, P1.3 million as SET chairman and P822,000 from PET.

Teresita de Castro, another SET member, followed Carpio with P4.920 million – P3 million from SC, P1.1 million from SET and P822,000 from PET.

Arturo Brion, the third SET justice-member, took home P4.813 million – P2.8 million from SC, P1.154 million from SET and P822,000 from PET.

The SET has no case to resolve until the next elections in 2016 because there is no pending protest against any senator.

Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno earned P4.211 million – P3.4 million from SC and P846,000 from PET.

The lowest paid justice was Roberto Abad, who recently retired. He was paid P3.538 million – P2.7 million from SC and P822,000 from PET.

The poorest justice in terms of wealth based on his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) for 2013, Marvic Leonen, received P3.789 million that year – P2.9 million from SC and P848,333.32 from PET.

Leonen’s net worth went up by just P143,000 to P1,817,706.75 from P1,674,623.22 in 2012 despite his P3.8 million gross pay.

The richest SC member, Mariano del Castillo, earned P3.9 million – P3.1 million from SC and P822,000 from PET. He was worth P122.2 million in 2013, based on his SALN.

Martin Villarama Jr. received P4.005 million – P3.2 million from SC and P822,000 from PET. Bienvenido Reyes took home P3.906 million – P3.1 million from SC and P822,000 from PET.

The other justices and their 2013 earnings are Jose Mendoza, P3.945 million (P3.1 million from SC and P822,000 from PET); Estela Perlas-Bernabe, P3.872 million (P3 million from SC and P822,000 from PET), and Jose Reyes, P3.854 million (P3 million from SC and P822,000 from PET).

Like the Senate tribunal, the SC, functioning as PET, has no case to resolve since there is no protest against the victory of President Aquino in the May 2010 elections.

Midas Marquez, court administrator who served as impeachment spokesman of ousted chief justice Renato Corona during the early part of the latter’s Senate trial, pocketed P2.758 million. His deputy, Raul Villanueva, received P2.344 million.

Clerk of court Enriqueta Vidal earned P2.739 million. SC spokesman Theodore Te, who has the rank of an assistant court administrator, was paid P1.962 million.