Malacañang on Monday maintained that President Rodrigo Duterte had consistently filed his Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN), which have been restricted from public access since 2018.

Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo recently urged Duterte to set an example by making public his SALN to show that he was “truly transparent and not corrupt.”

In a statement, Palace spokesman Harry Roque said the Office of the Ombudsman was responsible for making the said documents public.

“The stance of the Office of the President has been clear and consistent: We leave it to the Office of the Ombudsman, an independent constitutional body, to release to the public President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s (SALN),” he said.

Roque also claimed that Duterte “has complied with his constitutional duty to submit or file his SALN.”

“Interested parties may therefore wish to write a formal communication to the Office of the Ombudsman, which has copies of SALNs of all public officials, asking for a copy of the said document,” Roque said.

Duterte had filed SALNs his first two years in office. In 2018 and 2019, access to the chief executive’s documents was barred by Ombudsman Samuel Martires’ office.

Martires, who belonged to the same law college fraternity as Duterte, was appointed by the President to the Supreme Court in 2017 and as Ombudsman in 2018.

Duterte is the only president to not have his SALNs made available to the public in 31 years.

Shortly after assuming the presidency in 2016, Duterte released an Executive Order (EO) mandating the “full public disclosure” to ” information, official records, public records and to documents and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions or decisions, as well as to government research data used as basis for policy development.”

The said EO 2 covers “all government offices under the Executive Branch, including but not limited to the national government and all its offices, departments, bureaus, offices, and instrumentalities, including government-owned or -controlled corporations, and state universities and colleges.”

It said no request for information should be denied unless it “clearly falls under any of the exceptions listed in the inventory or updated inventory of exceptions circularized by the Office of the President.”

“[N]o exception shall be used or availed of to deny any request for information or access to public records, or official records if the denial is intended primarily and purposely to cover up a crime, wrongdoing, graft or corruption,” the EO stated.

Duterte’s net worth after assuming the presidency in 2016 was at P27.42 million. It rose to P28.54 million in 2017. John Ezekiel J. Hirro