Malacañang will finally ask President Duterte if he will release his Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth after the document has been kept from public view for the past two years.
According to presidential spokesman Harry Roque, the President’s decision on the SALN release will hopefully put an end to the issue.
“Well, tayo naman po’y sumusunod lang sa mga guidelines na si-net (set) ng Office of the Ombudsman pero mag-uusap po kami ng atin Presidente at para matapos na po itong isyung ito ay tatanungin ko na po, baka naman magbigay ng permiso ang Presidente para isapubliko ang kanyang SALN (We are following the guidelines set by the Office of the Ombudsman but I will talk to the President and to end this issue, I will ask if the President will give permission to make public his SALN),” he said during televised press briefing.
Roque was reacting to media queries if Malacañang will release the President’s SALN in 2018 and 2019 after the Senate released a summary of the latest SALNs of senators.
Roque made clear that the President was not trying to hide his wealth to the public. He said the President’s position is to follow the guidelines issued by the Ombudsman on the release of the SALN.
“Pero wala pong tinatago ang ating Presidente, bago po maglabas ng ganitong guidelines ang Ombudsman, taun-taon naman po nilalabas ni Presidente ang kaniyang SALN (The President is not hiding anytime. Before the Ombudsman released the guidelines, the President released his SALN every year),” he said.
The Office of the Ombudsman recently imposed stringent rules on the public access to SALN of public officials, particularly limiting the release of the document to the declarant and government investigators.
Roque said those seeking a copy of the President’s SALN should comply with the steps required by the Ombudsman. “We also have to respect the guidelines of the Ombudsman,” he said.