Malacañang is leaving it to the Office of the Ombudsman to release the statement of assets liabilities and net worth (SALN) of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made this statement after Vice President Leni Robredo urged Duterte to publicize his net worth if he is truly serious about ending corruption in government.
“The stance of the Office of the President has been clear and consistent: We leave it to the Office of the Ombudsman, an independent constitutional body, to release to the public President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN),” Roque said in a press statement on Monday.
He pointed out that Duterte has already complied with his constitutional duty to submit or file his SALN, noting that those who wanted to see it simply needed to get it from the Office of the Ombudsman.
“Interested parties may therefore wish to write a formal communication to the Office of the Ombudsman, which has copies of SALNs of all public officials, asking for a copy of the said document,” he added.
In September last year, the Office of the Ombudsman restricted access to public officials’ SALNs by requiring the consent of the statement’s owner before a SALN request can be evaluated.
Duterte’s last publicly accessible SALN was in 2017, in which he declared a net worth of P28.5 million.
On Sunday, Robredo said Duterte should set an example by releasing his SALN.
“The SALN is just one of the many ways through which you can prove that you are truly transparent and show you are not corrupt,” she said in her weekly radio show.
Robredo reminded Duterte that auditing government agencies is the mandate of the Commission on Audit (COA), not the vice president.
She defended the COA after it earned Duterte’s ire due to audit reports which showed there were billions of misused and unused funds that could have been used for the government’s Covid-19 pandemic response.
Duterte earlier threatened to “audit all of government” should he run and win for vice president in 2022.
He asked COA to “reconfigure” its audit reports to avoid public perception that flagged government agencies have committed irregularities.
He also urged the state audit body to clarify in its report that the deficiencies found do not mean a state department is involved in corrupt activities.