Palace Ok with Ombudsman release of Duterte SALN
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang sees no problem with the Ombudsman releasing the Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN) of President Rodrigo Duterte.
This was the response of Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo after the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) released a report, saying Duterte has not released a copy of his SALN eight months since the April 30 deadline for its filing.
The PCIJ said it was the “first time in the last 30 years that a President has not released his or her SALN.”
“That does not mean that he will have to follow (the other presidents before him). He follows the law. Law says ‘you file,’ and he filed,” Panelo said.
He said Duterte would not release his SALN to the public and let the Ombudsman do its job.
“We do not interfere with any constitutional body. Let them do their work,” he said.
Asked if the President was hiding anything, he said, “If he is hiding anything he would not have filed any SALN.”
He insisted that it is up to the Ombudsman to release copies of the President’s SALN.
“Yeah, because that’s the job of he Ombudsman to release,” he said.
When asked if there will be a problem if the Ombudsman would make public the president’s SALN, Panelo said: “How can there be any problem, that’s why he filed it… When you say ‘transparent,’ you file. The law does not require him to produce any copy to anybody who wants it.”
Duterte has required government officials under his Freedom of Information executive order to “file and make available for scrutiny their (SALN), in accordance with existing laws, rules and regulations, and the spirit and letter of this Order.”
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