Publication of Duterte’s SALN depends on the Office of the Ombudsman, Palace says

Marje Pelayo   •   October 20, 2020   •   279

 MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang insists that the publication of President Rodrigo Duterte’s Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth or SALN depends on the Office of the Ombudsman.

This was the Palace’s response when asked whether the public will ever get to see the wealth records of the Chief Executive.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque advises the public to follow the regulations imposed by the Ombudsman on public access to SALN of government officials.

“May bago pong guidelines na sinusunod ang Office of the Ombudsman. Siguro po dahil po constitutional body ang Ombudsman, dapat pong sundin ang kanilang mga guidelines [The Office of the Ombudsman is following a set of guidelines. Since the Ombudsman is a constitutional body, their guidelines must be followed),” Roque stressed. 

Unlike in past administrations, the Ombudsman is no longer allowing the public to see copies of the SALNs.

It can only be provided to a requester if he or she is the declarant or the person who filed the SALN or the duly representative of the declarant, a court order is present or the request is made by the Ombudsman’s field investigation units. MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Velasco urges PACC to send corruption report to Ombudsman

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 30, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco urged the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) to submit to the Office of the Ombudsman their report on the alleged involvement of several lawmakers in anomalies at the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

“Pursuant to due process, we believe that the matter should be brought before the Ombudsman, given the limited jurisdiction of the PACC over officials in the Executive Branch, and not those in the legislature,” he said.

In a statement on Tuesday (December 29), Velasco said the President made it clear that there is a presumption of innocence and such announcement was not an indictment. He also remind the public “not take it as gospel truth that it’s true.”

Based on reports, Velasco said the House members included in the PACC list claimed that none of the representatives from PACC have invited them for questioning.

“It appears that the PACC has not made any investigation as to the veracity of the accusations against them since they belong to another branch of government, which is not within the authority of the Commission,” Velasco said. AAC

DOTr orders department officials to submit SALN to anti-corruption task force

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 23, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — In accordance with the national government’s initiative to curb graft and corruption in all government departments, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) has ordered its officials to submit their Statement of Assets Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) to the anti-graft task force.

DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said the department supports the government and has already ordered all the heads of agencies and other DOTr officials, including officials’ chief-of-staff, secretaries, executive assistants, to submit their SALN.

“Makikiisa kami d’yan sa mega task force. Nag-meeting na kami [at susundin namin ang requirement ng PACC (Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission) para sa ganoon, maipakita na kaisa kami dun sa pagwalis at pag-address ng corruption sa gobyerno (We will support the mega task force. We already had a meeting and agreed to comply with the requirement asked for by the PACC so we can show that we are cooperating with the government in addressing and eradicating corruption),” he said.

President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the Department of Justice (DOJ) last October to probe graft and corruption in all government offices. AAC

Roque to ask Duterte if he wants to release his SALN

Marje Pelayo   •   October 30, 2020

 MANILA, Philippines — Members of the opposition have questioned Malacañang anew why it cannot release to the public the details of President Rodrigo Duterte’s statement of assets, liabilities and network (SALN) following the release of the senators’ SALN.

To end further speculations on the issue, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said he will discuss the matter with the President and ask him if he wants his SALN to be made public.

“Mag-uusap po kami ng ating presidente. Para matapos na po itong issue na ito ay tatanungin ko po baka naman po magbigay ng permiso ang presidente para isapubliko ang kaniyang SALN, [I will talk to the President. To end this issue, I will ask him if he would permit making his SALN public],” Roque said.

“Pero wala pong itinatago ang ating presidente. Bago po maglabas ng ganitong guidelines ang Ombdusman, taon-taon naman po inilalabas ng presidente ang kaniyang SALN, [But the president is not hiding anything. Before the Ombudsman released its guidelines, the President had been releasing his SALN to the public],” he added.

In a report released by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ), the last time President Duterte’s SALN was made public was in 2016 and 2017 but it was no longer available in 2018 and 2019.

Malacañang insists that the Chief Executive is only following the guidelines issued by the Office of the Ombudsman over his SALN.

“Tatanungin po natin iyan sa Presidente. Kasi ang kaniyang posisyon bilang isang abogado, sundin namin ang guidelines ng Ombudsman [We will ask the President because his position as a lawyer is to follow the guidelines of the Ombudsman],” Roque said. MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)

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