House forms committee for SALN disclosure
MANILA, Philippines — Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. has formed a committee to create guidelines for the House of Representatives’ disclosure of their statements of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN).
Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales II revealed this to reporters and the Speaker himself later confirmed the move as he named three lawmakers as committee members.
Belmonte said they are Cagayan de Oro Representative Rufus Rodriguez, Nueva Ecija Representative Rodolfo Antonino and Valenzuela Representative Rex Gatchalian.
According to Belmonte, he will get three more members for the committee but explained that it was unlikely for someone from the minority to be chosen.
He said that it was possible to select a member of the minority bloc but that the committee was “a majority thing. We are addressing it to the bulk of the members in the majority.”
And since minority leader Danilo Suarez has earlier signed a waiver to release his SALN, Belmonte said that its members could “start up by all of them releasing (their SALNs).”
Former president and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, he said, was “free to call us up and say she’ll give her SALN.”
The committee will “try to get the consensus” but Belmonte said that anyone from their ranks is free to release their SALNs “if they want to.”
Gonzales said that “under the SALN law, both houses should put up a committee to determine the guidelines in releasing the SALNs.”
For the meantime, he said that any request for SALNs should be addressed individually.
Issues on government officials’ truthful disclosures of their SALNs arose during the controversial impeachment proceedings of ousted chief justice Renato Corona.
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