Rules on Statements, Assets, Liabilities and Networth defended

February 02, 2019

HOUSE Majority Leader and Capiz Rep. Fredenil “Fred” Castro said yesterday the adoption of new rules on the release of lawmakers’, officials’, and employees’ Statements, Assets, Liabilities and Networth (SALNs) was justified and called on critics to look at the rationalized purpose of the measure.

Castro, one of the authors of the resolution, said among the purposes of House Resolution (HR) No. 2467, providing for the rules of procedure in the review, filing and disclosure, and access to SALN, is to pinpoint responsibility in case the  SALN of a House Member, official or employee ends up in the hands of the wrong people.

“We don’t really know who is responsible pag kumalat ang SALN. How can we run after unscrupulous people with sinister design when we don’t even know their identity, affiliation or organization,” said Castro.

To prevent this, he said there should be proper identification of the requesting individual, his affiliation, background, and organization.

“Baka impostor lang ito or syndicate connected to terrorists and other questionable organizations,” he said.

The proper identification of the requesting individual will serve as protection for House members, officials and employees as well as to the requesting person.

“Without proper identification, sino hahabulin natin in case the SALN of the House Member, official or employee is changed? For instance, if the requesting party alters the networth in the SALN from P10 million to P100 million and this is distributed around for political purposes, who do we run after if the requesting person was not properly identified? Sino hahabulin ng House and ng House Member?” said Castro.

The required proper identification as provided in the new rules of procedure under HR No. 267 will also be a protection for the requesting person.

“If he is of good standing and from a legitimate organization, pero ninakaw yung kopya ng SALN, at ito ay na-altered, the one caught in possession of it will be held responsible. The legitimate holder of the SALN will have no responsibility,” said Castro.