Duterte lauds Ombudsman for being a reasonable man, good rapport with executive
President Rodrigo Duterte has commended the "good rapport" between his office and that of the Office of the Ombudsman as he even described Ombudsman Samuel Martires as a "reasonable man."
Duterte made the statement amid the Ombudsman's suspension of some officials of Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, which is a subject of various investigations due to alleged massive corruption and Martires' issuance of strict guidelines over the statements of liabilities and net worth of government officials, including that of Duterte's.
"If you would notice the fact that at no other time, the rapport of the Ombudsman and the Executive department is good and it's because of a - it's a matter of human relations. How you present the problem and try to ask his help," he said.
"I find Martires as a very reasonable man," he said, citing how the Ombudsman handles its investigation of PhilHealth officials.
"Well, I think he is really also trying his best to help us. So if that's the situation, we re better off at least for now," Duterte said.
The President, who appointed Martires to the post, said he did not know the current Ombudsman.
"I do not know him but if you get such reception from him, that's nothing. It's a matter of human niceties," he added.
Recently, Martires came out with a memorandum circular as to who could only secure copies of the SALNs of government officials, including the president.
The members of the press who previously could easily get copies of the SALNs for reporting purposes are not among those in the list.
Under the Ombudsman's memorandum circular, SALNs would only be released to the declarant who filed it and his or her official representative who made a request; when there is a legal order by the court in relation to a pending case; and when the request is made through the Office of the Ombudsman’s field investigation office for the purpose of a fact-finding investigation.
In all other instances, the memorandum said no SALN will be furnished to the requester unless the person presents a notarized letter of authority from the declarant allowing the release of the requested SALN.
Some media entities have been requesting for a copy of Duterte's SALNs in 2018 and 2019. But up to now, the Ombudsman has yet to provide any. Celerina Monte/DMS