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Ombudsman Samuel Martires might want to cite specific instances where the Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) and lifestyle checks are weaponized and used in “extortion” activities against public servants.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson said this Saturday as he said the public can only speculate on such a claim, which Martires cited in stopping lifestyle checks and restricting access to SALNs.

“How I wish in-expound niya pa kung saan siya nanggagaling. Kasi pwede lang natin speculate o isipin meron siyang information na natanggap na nangyari talaga yan kaya siya nag-decide ng ganyan,” Lacson said in an interview on DWIZ radio.

“Sana nag-cite siya ng mga specific information o kaya mga incident na talagang nangyari yan para mas maunawaan ng tao kung ano pinanggagalingan niya. Pero kung wala siyang sina-cite at haka-haka lang, iba rin yan,” he added.

Lacson said he would like to believe that Martires has come across actual cases that prompted him to adopt such policies on SALNs and lifestyle checks.

Also, Lacson said that while lifestyle checks had been of some help in some investigations, it cannot be considered conclusive.

“Kung lifestyle ang titingnan, dapat laliman pa rin ang investigation. Siyempre kanya-kanya namang hilig ang tao, at kung halimbawa walang prohibition ang tao sa gobyerno mag-engage in legitimate business, basta walang conflict of interest sa kanyang pinaglilingkuran sa gobyerno,” he said.

Lacson also lamented a “parochial” view of some people where they equate honesty with poverty, and corruption with being well off.

“Dapat kung iimbestigahan mo ang isang tao, dapat tingnan mo ang ginagawa niya, ano ang mga kamalian niya, kung may ginawa siyang masama na ginamit ang kanyang katungkulan sa pamahalaan,” he said.

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