Escudero says aspirants in 2022 elections should disclose SALNs

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 14 2021 02:32 PM

Outgoing senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero talks to the media during a “Kapihan” session at the Philippine Senate in Pasay City on June 06, 2019. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News/File
Outgoing senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero talks to the media during a “Kapihan” session at the Philippine Senate in Pasay City on June 06, 2019. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA — Those seeking elective posts in the 2022 national elections should disclose their Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net worth (SALN) to help voters choose the next set of public officials, Sorsogon Gov. Francis "Chiz" Escudero said Sunday.

Releasing one's SALN will also boost a candidate's credibility and integrity, said Escudero, who is seeking a return to the Senate next year.

"Kung alam ng mga botante ang SALN ng mga tumatakbo, maari itong makatulong sa ating mga kababayan sa kanilang pagpili ng mga kandidato para sa darating na halalan," he said.

(If a voter knows the SALN of someone running for public office, it might help them choose their candidate in the upcoming elections.)

"Wala akong nakikitang dahilan para ito ipagdamot sa mga botante kung nais ng kandidato na tunay na maglingkod sa publiko."

(I don't see any reason to keep one's SALN from voters if a candidate really wishes to serve the public.)

Escudero, who served two terms as senator, previously filed a bill in the upper chamber, which sought to require public officials and employees to submit a bank waiver to the Office of the Ombudsman alongside the filing of their SALNs.

He added that the execution of a bank secrecy waiver by public officials, particularly those seeking elective posts, would be "proof of their honest intent in rendering public service and as an assurance against theft of public funds."

In 2020, Ombudsman Samuel Martires limited public access to SALNs, allowing release only for official investigations, by court order, or upon authority from officials themselves. 

Earlier this year, Martires also proposed jail time for those who would make public comments on SALNs.