By Raymund Antonio
Regardless of position, Vice President Leni Robredo said that all government officials should be truthful when they declare their wealth in their Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN).
“Sa lahat naman po na government officials—kahit nga hindi elected, kahit appointed lang into office—obligado kaming ilagay sa aming SALN iyong tunay na mga pag-aari namin,” she said in Iloilo City. (All of government officials—even those not elected and only appointed into office—we are obliged to declare all of our assets in our SALN.)
“Iyong pinaka-dapat lang, pantay iyong pagtingin ng batas whether mataas iyong posisyon o hindi,” Robredo stressed. (Everyone must be equal in the eyes of the law, whether they are occupying a high position or not.)
On the sidelines of her Ahon Laylayan Koalisyon launch, Robredo was asked about President Duterte’s remarks that his family’s earnings were nobody’s business.
The Chief Executive slammed the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism that questioned his family’s growing wealth.
The PCIJ reported the significant increases in the income of Duterte and his two children—Sara and Paolo– while they were in public office as indicated in their SALNs.
Robredo recalled how low-ranking government employees were punished because they were not truthful in disclosing their wealth in their SALNs.
Under Section 8 of Republic Act No. 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, all government officials and employees are required to submit their SALNs.
Failure to do so is punishable by suspension of up to 6 months for the first offense, and dismissal from service for the second offense.
Robredo said the same standards should be observed in the application of the law for those occupying higher positions.
The Vice President added any public officials are also expected to divest from their business interests.
“Ito iyong paraan para hindi magkaroon ng conflict of interest dahil ang pinanghahawakan namin na mga posisyon maimpluwensiya, mayroong kapangyarihan,” she said. (This is to avoid conflict of interest because the positions we hold are influential and powerful.)