Sotto: “He is the president. The people expect transparency in their leaders.”
SALN – Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III said President Rodrigo Duterte should disclose his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth.
It was in 2017 when Duterte last disclosed his SALN wherein he declared that he has a net worth of P28.5 million.
Despite the request to disclose the document, the president did publicize his SALN in 2018 and 2019.
SALN is an annual document that all government workers in the Philippines, whether regular or temporary, must complete and submit attesting under oath to their total assets and liabilities, including businesses and financial interests, that make up their net worth.
For Sotto, the publicization of the candidates’ SALN should be “voluntary.”
When asked if the president should disclose his SALN to the public, he said: “Yes, I think so. He is the president. The people expect transparency in their leaders.”
The vice presidential aspirant made the statement following the suggestion of Sorsogon Gov. Francis “Chiz” Escudero, senatorial candidate, that candidates in national and local elections must disclose their SALN.
But Sotto stressed that it might be declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court if disclosing the SALN becomes a requirement for candidates.
He said this will be similar to the SC’s abolition of mandatory drug testing for candidates.
Malacanang had earlier said that Duterte is leaving it to the Office of the Ombudsman when it comes to the releasing of his SALN to the public.
However, based on the memorandum issued by the Ombudsman in September 2020, they would no longer grant access to SALN requests of government officials without the permission of the official they wish to obtain a copy of.
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