Sotto, Gatchalian thumb down stricter rules on SALNs
MANILA, Philippines —Unlike the House of Representatives, the Senate has no plan to require plenary approval for any request for a statement of assets, liabilities, and net worth (SALN).
The House has adopted a resolution requiring majority approval at the plenary before releasing any SALN of its members.
Asked if the Senate would follow suit, Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III answered in the negative.
“Nope. We have the same rules as the Supreme Court,” Sotto said in a text message.
“The Senate has the same formula as the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court’s stand on it is the same as the Senate,” he stressed in an interview at the Senate.
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian echoed Sotto’s sentiment.
“When I filed my SALN, alam ko (I know) this is a public document. It’s meant to be shared to the public…” Gatchalian said in a separate interview at the Senate.
Like the Supreme Court, he pointed out that the Senate’s rules in accessing the SALN were simple and transparent.
So when asked about the House’s resolution, Gatchalian said, “It goes against the spirit of transparency.”
“I think it has to be simple. It has to be transparent. The process should be clear and transparent,” he added.
Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III said he would not comment on the House’s resolution because of inter-chamber courtesy.
“But if someone wants to question the validity in court then he/she can do so as this s a free country which values transparency in government matters,” Pimentel said in a text message. /ee
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