Palace 'respects' Ombudsman's proposal on penalties vs. SALN critics

Published September 10, 2021, 6:27 PM

by Ellson Quismorio

Malacañang did not challenge Ombudsman Samuel Martires’s declaration pertaining to public officials’ statement of assets, liabilities, and net worth (SALN).

Malacañang Palace (File photo/ MANILA BULLETIN)

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a virtual press briefing Friday, Sept. 10 that the Palace “respects the opinion” of the Office of the Ombudsman.

“Well, nirerespeto namin ang mga opinion ng Ombudsman, dahil siya po ay isang Constitutional body (we respect the opinion of the Ombudsman, and because it is a Constitutional body), respect his opinion po,” Roque told reporters.

Before this, thr Palace official was asked to react to Martires’s proposal to penalize people who comment on SALNs with a five-year prison term.

The SALN contains a listing of the affiant’s sources of income, like his or her occupation or business, as well as sources of financing or debts.

Government employees are required to accomplish and file their SALN form every year. As such, anti-corruption crusaders consider the SALN as a vital tool in the fight against corruption in government.

Administration critics have been prodding the Palace to release a copy of President Duterte’s SALN. The last time the Chief Executive did this was back in 2017.

A former Sandiganbayan magistrate, Martires was appointed to his current position by Duterte in June 2018.