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Ombudsman denies request of lawyers to get copy of Duterte’s SALN

/ 01:21 PM September 07, 2021
The Office of the Ombudsman refused to release copies of President Rodrigo Duterte's statement of assets, liabilities, and net worth (SALN) to requesting lawyers.

The Office of the Ombudsman denies the request of lawyers to release copies of President Rodrigo Duterte’s statement of assets, liabilities, and net worth. From the Facebook post of lawyer Dino de Leon

MANILA, Philippines — The Office of the Ombudsman refused to release a copy of President Rodrigo Duterte’s statement of assets, liabilities, and net worth (SALN) to requesting lawyers.

“Bakit takot na takot sila na ipakita ang SALN ng Pangulo? Kung walang tinatago, wala dapat ikatakot. The law is very clear: the SALN of public officials should be accessible to the public,” lawyer Dino de Leon posted Monday, attaching a photo of the Ombudsman’s response dated September 1.

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(Why are they so afraid to show the president’s SALN? If they are not hiding anything, they should not be afraid.)

The document stated that Ombudsman Samuel Martires rejected the request, pursuant to Ombudsman Memorandum Circular No. 1, series of 2020.

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Under the circular, a copy of the SALN may be given to the following: the official him or herself or his duly authorized representative, through a court order for a pending case and the request is made by this Office’s Field Investigation Office/Bureau/Unit (FIO/FIB/FIU) for the purpose of conducting fact-finding investigation.

Request for SALN copies may also be provided to the requester subject to the following requirements: the Office is the official repository of the requested SALN; the requested SALN is on file with or in actual possession by the Office; and the requester completely fills-in the form, complies with the submission of the requirements and pays the fees, if applicable.

De Leon, in his Facebook post said that in 2020, he, along with lawyers Josef Leroi Garcia and Teddy Rigoroso, were requested by opposition Senator Leila de Lima to make a Freedom of Information (FOI) request on Duterte’s SALN.

Duterte’s Executive Order on FOI allows the access of government officials’ SALN in accordance with existing laws, rules and regulations.

“As an advocate of the People’s Right to Know, I personally did the request, and such was denied by the Office of the President stating that the SALN should be requested through the Office of the Ombudsman as the official repository of all SALNs,” he mentioned.

“They weaponized the SALN against Chief Justice Sereno, tapos ayaw nila ilabas yung sa Pangulo (yet they don’t want to release the president’s)?” he added.

De Leon pushed for the issuance of Duterte’s SALN amid corruption allegations in the multi-billion-peso contract awarded to Pharmally for the procurement of medical supplies.

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RELATED STORIES:

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Group slams Ombudsman for limiting access to public officials’ SALN 

The right of the People to access the SALN of the PresidentLate last year, I, together with Attys. Josef Leroi Garcia …

Posted by Dino De Leon on Monday, September 6, 2021

JPV

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TAGS: Dino de Leon, Ombudsman, Rodrigo Duterte, SALN
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