Palace slams house rules on statement of assets, liabilities and net worth

February 04, 2019
Salvador Panelo

MALACAÑANG yesterday slammed a resolution in the House of Representatives restricting public access to the statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) of congressmen and employees of the chamber.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the executive branch “does not intrude into the internal rules and procedures adopted” by Congress but said the resolution on lawmakers’ SALNs might not be consistent with the government’s policy on transparency.

“We note the passage of a resolution of the House of Representatives requiring plenary approval before it may release a copy of a member’s Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) to the public,” Panelo said in a statement.

He said, “Such a procedure may be perceived as a transgression of Article XI of the Constitution, requiring any public official to submit a SALN.”

Panelo added that Article II of the Constitution “guarantees the right of the people to information on matters of public concern” and that Republic Act No. 6713 “makes the said document readily available to the public.”

The Presidential Spokesperson said the Duterte administration has sought to “promote transparency when the President issued Executive Order No. 2 (s. 2016) on the Freedom of Information making effective the people’s right to information within its branch.”

“Any stringent measure which burdens the people in obtaining public information may not be consistent with transparency and accountability of public officials,” he said.

On January 30, the House adopted on second reading House Resolution No. 2467, authored by Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, which would require majority consent to release lawmakers’ SALNs.