It’s tax filing season and for government officials, in particular, the time of year for disclosing their statements of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN).
And since it’s the election season as well, at least one candidate has suggested, why not ask the candidates who are now in public office to disclose not just their SALNs but their income tax returns (ITRs) as well?
Aurora Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara, one of President Aquino’s handpicked senatorial bets, said the disclosure of both documents would be the best way for the electorate to scrutinize the candidates, particularly those running for the Senate.
“It so happens that April 15 is the deadline for the submission of the SALNs. It’s also the deadline (for the submission) of the income tax returns (ITRs),” Angara told a news conference at the administration’s Team PNoy headquarters in Makati.
“I would support the filing of the disclosure of the SALNs. Not only that, also the ITRs of all the candidates for senator,” he said.
Angara was one of the spokespersons of the House prosecution team during the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona in 2012.
One of the issues raised against Corona, who was removed from office, was his failure to disclose his substantial bank holdings in his SALN.
Aside from pushing for the disclosure of the extent of a candidate’s wealth, Angara called on the electorate to closely examine the performance of those candidates who are incumbent officials while they were in office.
He urged voters “to junk candidates with a record of repeated absences in legislative sessions thereby neglecting their sworn duties and responsibilities to the people.”
“Let’s not vote for the candidates who weren’t reporting for work. Let’s not vote for the candidates who weren’t doing their jobs,” Angara said.
He asked “voters to be more vigilant and look into the record of the candidates who are mostly incumbent or former members of Congress.”
For those candidates who are not incumbent officials, Angara said voters should look at their achievements and credentials.