Admin solon says anybody can access SALN

Published June 6, 2018, 6:16 PM

by Roel Tibay

By Ben Rosario

A senior administration congressman sees nothing wrong for the news media or any Filipino to access records showing his Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Networth.

Isabela Rep. Rodito Albano (photo from congress.gov.ph)
Isabela Rep. Rodito Albano (photo from congress.gov.ph)

Isabela Rep. Rodito Albano, a member of the powerful Commission on Appointments, said the SALN “is a public document, thus, anyone can access it.”

Albano aired this opinion as opposition congressmen have started feeding House reporters their respective SALN for 2017 when asked the journalists.

It was reported that SALN disclosure has been temporarily put off until the plenary can vote on proposed rules to government public release of the record that reflects a congressman’s net worth.

Last year, the Lower House furnished media the 2016 SALN listing in the middle of August, thereby allaying fears that its members want their affluence or poverty kept under wraps.

Actually, the law mandating all government officials and personnel to file SALN is part of a transparency policy that is aimed at preventing graft and corruption.

Reacting to the SALN issue, Laguna Rep. Benjamin Agarao said he will abide by what the House leadership says on whether or not his SALN will be released to the public.

Magdalo Partylist Rep. Gary Alejano said he has released his SALN to the media rather than wait for the plenary to decide on the transparency rules. Alejano has recently revealed plans to run for senator.

Members of two opposition blocs in the Lower House also responded to requests of certain journalists for copies of their SALN. Many among them are in the list of the poorest congressmen.

Among them were Reps. France Castro (ACT Teachers Partylist); Emmi de Jesus (Gabriela Partylist); Carlos Isagani Zarate (Bayan Muna), France Castro (ACT Teachers Partylist) who ranked 6th, 7th and 9th, among the ten “poorest” House members in 2016.

Also volunteering copies of their respective SALN were Reps. Teddy Baguilat Jr., Antonio Tinio, and Ariel Casilao (Anakpawis). Baguilat and Tinio reported modest earnings in 2017 compared to their net worth in 2016.

 
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