Palace respects Ombudsman decision on SALN releases

September 10, 2009 9:36 am 

MANILA, Sept. 10 — Malacañang on Thursday said the Ombudsman, an independent Constitutional body, had decided to tighten the release of statements of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) after a long and thorough study.

Deputy Spokespersons Anthony Golez and Gary Olivar told Palace reporters that the First Family have been dutifully complying with the Constitutional body’s SALN reporting requirements.

“I’m sure the Ombudsman made the decision to protect people in government from harassment, including President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, along with her family, who has been harassed not just recently but ever since she assumed office,” Golez said.

Olivar, on the other hand, said people must also look at how the three branches of government comply with the requirements and “how open they are about the SALNs submitted to them.”

He said it might be a good idea to find out how fast the judiciary release the SALNs of the justices, the Congress of its members, and the executive branch of its officials.

It will surprise people to know that the executive branch is the fastest in requiring submission and in giving out SALNs to concerned institutions like media, all for the sake of transparency,” he added.

Asked whether the executive branch will ask the Ombudsman to soften its ruling, Golez replied, “the Ombudsman is an independent institution and we respect that.”

“Besides, if there is nothing to hide, we would rather maintain the status quo—where SALN is released without much documentation requirement,” he added. (PNA)

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