Palace vows to cooperate with Senate probe on SALN redactions
Malacañang on Wednesday said it would cooperate on the planned Senate probe on the redactions made by certain Cabinet officials on their December 2016 statements of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALNs).
Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella made the statement two days after Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV filed Senate Resolution No. 514 to order the SALN redactions.
“We reiterate that there were no violations committed related to the release of SALNs of some Cabinet members.
“The Executive would cooperate and would attend the investigation on SALNs, if and once called by the Senate,” Abella said.
He said Malacañang has already “raised the SALN issue with the National Privacy Commission and we are waiting for their guidance.”
The Philippines Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) reported on Friday that there was an “epidemic” of redaction on the SALNs of some Cabinet officials.
Malacañang had earlier invoked the Data Privacy Act, even after some had questioned the redacted SALNs because of the Freedom of Information being implemented in the Executive branch.
“Implementation of FOI is a learning process, especially with the concurrent application of the Data Privacy Act,” Abella said.
But in a Palace briefing on Tuesday, Abella said there would be no more redaction on the SALNs of Cabinet officials in future requests.
“If you check it again, they will give it in full,” he said.
Communications Assistant Secretary Kris Ablan, who is also in charge of the Freedom of Information (FOI) implementation in the Executive branch, also assured the public that there would be no more redaction in future SALN requests.
“Yes, that will be disclosed,” Ablan said.
Abella and Ablan’s statement came after Ivy Patdu of the National Privacy Commission said the redaction in the SALNs should not have been made.
“If it’s a question of assets, liabilities, and net worth, it should not be redacted,” Patdu said.
“They should not be redacted. They should be open to the public. They should be included in the SALN,” she added. /je