With new limits, how can you obtain a copy of Duterte's SALNs?

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 17 2020 02:49 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte. File

MANILA-- Those who wish to obtain President Rodrigo Duterte's Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALNs) for the past two years must comply with the guidelines set by the Office of the Ombudsman, Malacañang said Thursday after the graft-busting agency limited access to such documents.

The Palace is willing to authorize the release of President Duterte's SALNs for 2018 and 2019 as long as those seeking to obtain it "comply with the procedure and guidelines of the Ombudsman," his spokesperson Harry Roque said.

"We respect the constitutional prerogative of a constitutional body such as the Ombudsman. We leave the matter to the Ombudsman," Roque said during a Palace press briefing.

Access to public officials' SALNs was limited by the Ombudsman for use for official investigations, by court order, or upon authority from officials themselves. 

The move is seen as a challenge to public transparency and accountability as SALNs help in the lifestyle check of officials.

"Kung mayroon po ganyang rule ang Ombudsman, as the specialized constitutional agency to promote accountability, kinakailangan respetuhin," Roque said.

(If there is such a rule, as the specialized constitutional agency to promote accountability, it needs to be respected.)

While the President has yet to make public his SALNs for 2018 and 2019, Roque said the chief executive has filed in adherence to the law.

Under the country's charter, all public officials and employees, whether regular or under temporary status, are required to file a SALN.