MANILA The Statements of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALNs) of members of President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s Cabinet had no redactions unlike last year’s, MalacaAang said Tuesday.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque made this assurance following the request of members of the media for copies of Cabinet officials’ SALNS.
The FOI (Freedom of Information) office I understand has already released the SALN of the other Cabinet members, and it’s no longer redacted unlike last year’s, Roque said.
Roque, who joined Duterte’s Cabinet late last year, even said that he was willing to voluntarily provide members of the MalacaAang Press Corps. (MPC) with copies of his own SALN.
Last year, members of the Duterte Cabinet were under fire for making redactions on some items in their SALNs using a black marker.
A report published in the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) last September 2017 noted that redacted details included real and personal properties, asset values, business interests, and liabilities.
The PCIJ described this practice as a deviation from the Duterte’s FOI executive order’s push for transparencywhich he signed in July 2016.
Then Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella, however, defended this blacking out of details, noting that they were concealed because of security concerns.
“There are some who may use the sensitive personal information and other data contained in the SALNs to harass people or commit fraud. We, therefore, consider security concerns as valid issues,” Abella earlier said.
According to the FOI website, any Filipino citizen can make an FOI request for information, official records, public records, and, documents and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions, or decisions as well as to government research data used as basis for policy development.
There are no fees to make a request. But the agency may charge a reasonable fee for necessary costs, including costs of printing, delivery, reproduction and/or photocopying.
The standard processing time for a request is 15 working days. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency