President Duterte is not trying to hide anything from the public even though his Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) have been not been released to the public, according to Presidential spokesman Harry Roque.
He said he was certain the President has filed his SALN in compliance with the law, and that he remains committed to transparency in government.
“I don’t think the President is keeping anything from the public,” Roque said during a televised press briefing.
“The fact is, he is the only (head of a) branch of government that has in fact issued an issuance, an Executive Order No. 1 on transparency, and that is FOI (freedom of information) in the executive branch of government,” he said.
Roque admitted, however, that the release of the President’s SALN is “outside of the jurisdiction” of his office. He said he would inquire from the Office of the Executive Secretary about the document.
“I do not know if that has not been made available. But what I’m sure about is, it has been filed,” he said.
The President’s SALN in 2018 and 2019 have not been released to the public despite requests from journalists to disclose the public document for transparency and accountability.
In his 2017 SALN, the President’s net worth reached P28.5 million, higher by P4 million since he assumed office in June 2016.
Back in 2016, Duterte signed Executive Order No. 2 mandating the full public disclosure of information in offices under the executive branch to promote transparency. “Filipino shall have access to information, official records, public records and to documents and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions or decisions, as well as to government research data used as basis for policy development,” the order read.
On the availability of SALN, the presidential order reminded all public officials of their obligation to file and make available for scrutiny their SALN in accordance with existing laws, rules and regulations.
The public can request for access to government records via the official FOI website or offices within the executive branch. To date, the Office of the President is not among the agencies enrolled in the online FOI portal.
Exempted from the information requests are data related to national security, executive privilege, and those that may jeopardize privacy.