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Palace reiterates Duterte ‘not concealing’ his wealth declarations

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By Prince Golez

President Rodrigo Duterte is not hiding anything about his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN), Malacañang assured the public even copies of his 2018 and 2019 SALN have yet to be made public.

“I can’t answer a question with a wrong premise. The premise there is that he is concealing his SALN, he’s not,” Duterte’s mouthpiece Harry Roque told CNN Philippines Wednesday.

Despite the new guidelines set by the Office of the Ombudsman on public access to SALNs, Roque said that “anyone can request a copy of the SALN complying with the requirements of Executive Order No. (EO) [2].”

The Ombudsman earlier issued new rules that limit access to the asset declaration documents of government officials.

Under Memorandum Circular No. 1, access to a public official’s SALN will only be given to the official or a duly authorized representative; a requester acting on a court order in relation to a pending case; and the Ombudsman’s Field Investigation Office/Bureau/Unit for the purpose of conducting a fact-finding investigation.

The requester must also present “a notarized letter of authority from the declarant allowing the release of the requested SALN.”

EO 2 allows the public to access documents and records from offices under the executive branch to promote transparency in the government.

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