Public office is public trust: Why are gov't officials' SALN important?


Posted at Sep 27 2020 10:46 AM | Updated as of Sep 27 2020 10:54 AM

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MANILA - Government officials are required to declare their wealth as public service requires public trust, a law expert said Sunday.

The Ombudsman earlier restricted access to officials' Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN), allowing their release only for official investigations, by court order, or upon authority from officials themselves.

Atty. Sol Derequito-Mawis, dean of Lyceum of the Philippines University' College of Law, cited the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials which she said mandates state officers to be transparent with their wealth.

"Kaya nagkaroon ng batas na ganyan, para makita ang government officials na nakapaloob dito sa batas ay hindi gagamitin po ang kanilang katungkulan para magpayaman. For purposes of transparency, kung wala naman silang tinatago, kailangan ipakita o isumite yung tinatawag hong Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth," she told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.

(That law was created so we can see government officials are not using their positions to be able to get rich. It's for the purpose of transparency. If they don't have anything to hide, they should submit their SALN.)

"'Yan pong batas na yan ay isinabuhay ang Constitutional provision na nagsasabing public office is a public trust, kaya ho may binigay na kapangyarihan na maging accountable ang ating public officer."

(That law breathes life to the Constitutional provision that says public office is a public trust, that's why public officers are given the power to be accountable.)

Watch her full interview here.