Sharpen Ombudsman teeth vs corruption instead of amending SALN law — Diokno

Published October 22, 2021, 5:40 PM

by Betheena Unite

Human rights lawyer and senatorial candidate Jose Manuel ‘Chel’ Diokno criticized on Friday, Oct. 22, the amendment proposed by Ombudsman Samuel Martires on the Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN) law, saying it’s best to sharpen the Office of the Ombudsman’s teeth against graft and corruption

Human rights lawyer Chel Diokno (MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Diokno disputed Martires’ proposal to amend Republic Act No. 6713, or the law which requires public officials and employees to submit their SALN.

Martires earlier proposed an amendment to the law that would penalize commentaries on SALNs with five years imprisonment or P5,000 fine or both.

“Dapat tumulong na lang ang Ombudsman sa pagbibigay ng dagdag na ngipin sa kampanya kontra katiwalian kaysa magpanukala ng mga ganyang klaseng pagkilos (Instead of proposing such amendment, it would be best for the Ombudsman to provide additional teeth to the campaign against graft and corruption),” said Diokno, who heads the Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) that provides free legal aid to victims of abuse and poor Filipinos.

“Imbis na mga kurakot sa gobyerno ang habulin, ang pinag-iinitan at gustong parusahan ng Ombudsman (ay yung) mga Pilipinong naghahanap lang ng katotohanan (Instead of going after corrupt officials, the Ombudsman wants to sanction Filipinos who only want the truth),” Diokno stressed.

As the SALN is considered as a public document, Diokno said every Filipino has the right to see and examine them to ensure that no government officials would enrich themselves while in power.

Diokno is vying for a senatorial seat in the May 2022 polls. He is running under Vice President and Presidential aspirant Leni Robredo’s ticket.