Senate President Tito Sotto is backing Ombudsman Ombudsman Samuel Martires’ move to tighten access to statements of assets, liabilities, and net worth (SALN) of the President, lawmakers and politikos.
Even if Sotto has has not read the Ombudsman’s Memorandum Circular No. 1 Series of 2020 formalizing Martires restrictions’ on SALN releases since 2018.
“I did not see it, I have not heard, I have not read the policy that was released by the Ombudsman. Pag Ombudsman ang involved, I feel secure kasi alam kong maingat sila,” said Sotto in a radio interview.
Martires has limited access to SALNs only to an official or a duly authorized representative of the politiko; individuals who obtain a court order; and the Office of the Ombudsman’s Field Investigation Office for the purpose of conducting fact-finding investigation.
Previously, media has full access to SALNs of all politikos and top government officials.
Sotto believes SALNs should not be accessible to just anybody.
“Kung legitimate, susulat ka, ganoon naman sa Senado, ganoon din sa Supreme Court.
Susulat ka, hihilingin mo para mapagbigyan ka. Hindi yung kahit sinong Tom, Dick, and Harry na gusto na lang kunin yung SALN,” said Sotto in a radio interview.
“Kasi ang isa sa mga iniingatan doon, let’s say yung address ng bahay, yung mga address ng property ng isang empleyado or government official tapos gusto ka lang perhuwisyuhin kaya gustong alamin kung nasaan, mga ganoon.
Hihigpitan lang nila ang pagrerelease, pero hindi nila hinihigpitan ang paglalahad,” he added.