Vice President Leni Robredo’s Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth will continue to be made available to the public despite a recent Ombudsman memorandum setting conditions for the release of SALNs of government officials, her spokesperson said on Wednesday.
“We won’t comment on the new rules promulgated by the Ombudsman but we are reassuring the Filipino public that the VP will continue to provide copies of her SALN, upon request, consistent with the clear intent of the Constitution and RA 6713,” Barry Gutierrez told GMA News.
In a September 1 Memorandum Circular, the Office of the Ombudsman restricted access to public officials’ SALNs by requiring consent of the SALN’s owner before a request can be evaluated by the Ombudsman’s office.
Under the memo, the copy of the SALN will be furnished to the requester only if:
- he/she is the declarant or the duly authorized representative of the declarant;
- the request is upon lawful order of the court in relation to a pending case; and
- the request is made by the Ombudsman’s Field Investigation Office/Bureau/Unit (FIO/FIB/FIU) for the purpose of conducting fact-finding investigation.
Ombudsman Samuel Martires’ predecessor, retired Supreme Court Justice Conchita Carpio Morales, did not require consent from the SALN owners before granting a request for a SALN copy.
Under the Republic Act 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, public officials and employees “have an obligation to accomplish and submit declarations under oath of, and the public has the right to know, their assets, liabilities, net worth and financial and business interests including those of their spouses and of unmarried children under 18 years of age living in their households.”
Moreover, Chapter 9, Section 34 of the Administrative Code of 1987 Book 1 reads “in the case of the President, the Vice-President, the Members of the Cabinet, the Congress, the Supreme Court, the Constitutional Commissions and other constitutional offices, and officers of the armed forces with general or flag rank, the declaration shall be disclosed to the public in the manner provided by law.” -MDM, GMA News