18, 2012 DATE

NR # 2652B

Mandatory public disclosure of SALN pushed
A bill mandating public disclosure of the Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) without condition has been filed in the House of Representatives. House Bill 5694 authored by Rep. Salvio Fortuno (5th District, Camarines Sur) provides for the mandatory disclosure to the public of the SALN and centralizes the filing of said statement with the Office of the Ombudsman. The bill seeks to plug the loopholes in Republic Act 6713 also known as the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees. “If I can have my way, the SALN should be available for public scrutiny without any condition,” Fortuno declared. Fortuno filed the bill following the continued refusal of Chief Justice Renato Corona to disclose his SALN to the public citing the Supreme Court’s non-disclosure policy. The policy, Fortuno said, aims to shield justices from any deceptive request for information that could lead to intimidation, harassments and fishing expeditions. “This arrogant display of power runs counter to the noble objectives of R.A. 6713 to promote transparency and high standard of ethics in public service and to uphold public interest over and above personal interest,” Fortuno declared. The provision of the law is clear, according to Fortuno. “The public has the right to know our assets, liabilities and net worth. Why is there a need for us to hide our assets if they come from sweat and hard toils?” he concluded. (30) dpt

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