Congress forms body to review lawmakers’ SALNsBy Cynthia D. Balana, Karen Boncocan
INQUIRER.net, Philippine Daily Inquirer
Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. on Tuesday formed a committee to review all Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALNs) filed by members of the House of Representatives who see to it that they are complete and in proper form.
The accuracy of the entries, however, will not be checked by the review committee. “An appropriate case would be needed in order to do that,” said House Secretary General Marilyn Barua-Yap.
Yap said the committee will notify House members and employees of simple discrepancies in their SALNs, so if the total figure does not add up, they can make the necessary corrections immediately.
She said the procedures were similar to those adopted by the United States Congress.
The committee on SALN will be headed by Bohol Representative Erico Aumentado, Isabela Representative Giorgidi Aggabao, Batangas Representative Tomas Apacible, Nueva Ecija Representative Rodolfo Antonino and Cagayan de Oro Representative Rufus Rodriguez.
“This is an internal review, because the proposal was to include all regular and contractual employees as well as congressional staff,” Yap said.
Yap declined to comment on whether or not the move was triggered by the conviction and subsequent ouster of former Chief Justice Renato Corona from the Supreme Court for failure to declare certain properties and dollar accounts in his SALN.
In a special order on the matter issued by Belmonte on Tuesday, the Speaker said the creation of the review committee on the SALN was pursuant to the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.
Belmonte enumerated the specific functions of the committee as follows :
• To determine whether the SALNs were submitted on time, are complete and in the proper form, and if not, to inform the reporting individual and direct him or her to take the necessary corrective actions;
• To render any opinion interpreting the above act in writing to persons, subject in each instance to the approval by an affirmative vote of the majority of the House of Representatives; and
• To formulate such rules and procedures for public access to copies of SALNs of members, officials, employees and staff of the House of Representatives, subject to the approval of the House of Representatives.
Originally posted: 5:07 pm | Tuesday, June 19th, 2012