Paghihigpit ng House sa pagkuha ng SALN, pinalagan ng Malakanyang

Kinontra ng Malakanyang ang ginawang paghihigpit ng Mababang Kapulungan para sa pagkuha ng publiko ng Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) ng mga mambabatas at naniniwalang nilalabag nito ang 1987 Constitution.

Noong nakaraang linggo, ginawa ng House ang isang resolusyon na nangangailangan ng majority consent mula sa mga mambabatas upang mailabas ang mga dokumentadong ari-arian ng kapwa nila mambabatas.

Habang nilinaw na hindi nakikialam ang executive government sa House, sinabi ni Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo na maaaring unconstitutional ang nasabing resolusyon.

“Such a procedure may be perceived as a transgression of Article XI of the Constitution, requiring any public official to submit a SALN, in relation to Article II thereof which guarantees the right of the people to information on matters of public concern,” paliwanag ni Panelo.

Ayon sa Section 17, Article XI ng 1987 Constitution: A public officer or employee shall, upon assumption of office and as often thereafter as may be required by law, submit a declaration under oath of his assets, liabilities, and net worth. In the case of the President, the Vice-President, the Members of the Cabinet, the Congress, the Supreme Court, the Constitutional Commissions and other constitutional offices, and officers of the armed forces with general or flag rank, the declaration shall be disclosed to the public in the manner provided by law.

Iginiit pa ng Malakanyang ang probisyon ng Republic Act 6713 o ang Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees na nag-aatas para sa mabilis makita ng publiko ang SALN ng sinumang opisyal ng pamahalaan.

Nakapaloob pa sa Section 8 ng RA 6713 na may karapatan ang publikong malaman ang assets, liabilities, net worth at financial and business interests ng isang public official at empleado, gayundin ang kanilang mga asawa at wala pang asawang mga anak na nasa edad 18 pababa.

Binigyang diin pa ni Panelo na nilagdaan ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte noong Hulyo 2016 ang executive order para sa freedom of information upang obligahin ang lahat ng opisyales ng pamahalaan nasa ilalim ng executive branch at ipaalam ang detalye ng kanilang mga transaksiyon.

Bahagi ito ng inisyatibo para sa transparency ng Pangulo sa ilalim ng executive branch.

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

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