Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) Commissioner Greco Belgica supported House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco’s challenge to lawmakers in making their Statement of Assets Liabilities and Networth (SALN) public as part of the transparency and accountability of government officials.
According to Belgica, it is the duty of lawmakers to expose their true SALN to find out if there is no hidden wealth that was also part of their commitment to voters during the campaign.
“Naniniwala ako hindi lang bilang Commissioner ng PACC kundi bilang isang Pilipino na isa yan sa ipinangako nila noong kampanya. Mas maganda na maging totoo sila sa tao,” Belgica said.
Earlier, Belgica revealed that some Congressmen are allegedly involved in corruption in the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
According to the official, the agency’s projects are becoming substandard or incomplete because 50% of the funds are embezzled.
During the initial PACC investigation, 10-15% of corrupt Congressmen’s infrastructure projects were stolen while District Engineers and Contractors also had a share in the fund.
PACC supports publicizing lawmakers’ SALNs
Belgica admitted that PACC is currently holding evidence, and they are ready to identify the legislators involved once they submit the report to President Rodrigo Duterte.
He said that although those in government are obliged to submit SALN every year, it is not released just like in the House where CCTV guards the SALN record.
It is also not easy to ask for a copy because, under House Resolution 2467, anyone wishing to access the legislators’ SALN must have final approval in the House plenary.
Makabayan bloc solons first volunteered to show their SALNs to the public.
SALN is a declaration of assets (i.e., land, vehicles, etc.) and liabilities (i.e., loans, debts, etc.), including business and financial interests, of an official/employee, of his or her spouse, and his or her unmarried children under 18 years old still living in their parents’ households.
The submission of a SALN is required by law under Article XI Section 17 of the 1987 Constitution and Section 8 of Republic Act No. 6713, the “Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.”
The Ombudsman or his authorized representatives are authorized to attain documents that may show assets, liabilities, net worth, business interests, and financial connections from all appropriate government agencies.