PCIJ report on Duterte's unreleased SALN "malicious" - Palace
Malacañang on Friday found "malicious" a report by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) on the failure of the Office of the Ombudsman and the Office of the President to release to the public a copy of President Rodrigo Duterte's latest Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN).
PCIJ on Wednesday reported that eight months have passed since the April 30 deadline for the SALN filing and yet the government has not yet released the President's 2018 SALN, an apparent blow on Duterte's promise for transparency.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, however, defended that Duterte followed the deadline for the filing and declaration of his SALN.
"We take strong exception to the thoughts bordering to innuendo of a few that the failures of the PCIJ in getting a copy of the President’s SALN can be ascribed to the President’s policy on transparency. Such accusation is baseless if not malicious," said Panelo in a statement.
He explained that the President, in accordance to the mandated procedure under the law, will not personally provide copies of the documents to media or others who will request for it.
"The Office of the President is not the repository of the SALNs of the President," said Panelo, also chief presidential legal counsel.
Instead, he clarified that the Office of the Ombudsman is responsible for such request, given that it is where the President's SALNs are being kept.
"Per Memorandum Circular No. 3 (series of 2015) of the Civil Service Commission (CSC), the instrumentality which has the authority to carry out the provisions of Republic Act No. 6713, it is the Office of the Ombudsman which is the repository of the original SALNs of the President, the Vice President and the Constitutional Officials," the spokesperson said.
"This circular was reiterated by the Office of the Ombudsman in its Memorandum Circular No. 1 (series of 2018)," he added.
Panelo suggested the nonprofit media agency to redirect its request to the Office of the Ombudsman.
He reiterated that the OP cannot dictate the office responsible for the said SALN. Cristina Eloisa Baclig/DMS