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Andanar renews call to pass FOI law

Alexis Romero - The Philippine Star
Andanar renews call to pass FOI law
Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar said the exercise of state powers “can be placed under the lens of strict scrutiny through transparency” and through freedom of information.?
Ace Morandante / Presidential Photo

MANILA, Philippines — The chief of the government’s lead communication arm has reiterated his call for the passage of a freedom of information (FOI) law as some sectors are criticizing the failure of the Office of the Ombudsman and the Office of the President to release a copy of President Duterte’s statement of assets, liabilities, and net worth (SALN). ??

Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar said the exercise of state powers “can be placed under the lens of strict scrutiny through transparency” and through freedom of information.?

“Freedom of Information, as meaningfully espoused by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, in order to be an effective tool for governance, must be implemented across the bureaucracy: the executive, legislature, judiciary, including the local government units,” Andanar said during the FOI Awards 2019 in Makati last Wednesday. ??

“I still remain hopeful that our lawmakers will finally heed the call of the FOI-Project Management Office, the civil society organizations, and the people, and pass the FOI law,” he added. ??

The FOI event was held a day after the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) reported about the failure of the Office of the Ombudsman and the Office of the President to provide the media a copy of the President’s SALN.

PCIJ said it was the first time in the last 30 years that a President has not released his or her SALN.

Since the SALN Law was enacted in 1989, all five presidents before Duterte had publicly disclosed their annual SALNs without fail either through the Office of the Ombudsman or the Office of the President, PCIJ added. ??

The news organization noted that Duterte’s Executive Order No. 2, which operationalized FOI in the executive branch, requires the full public disclosure of the SALN of all executive officials, including the President. ??

Responding to the report, Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said Duterte has complied with the requirement to submit his SALN on time. He pointed out that the President is not required to provide a copy of the document to the media or to anyone who wants it.

Panelo also maintained that the Office of the Ombudsman, not the Office of the President, is the repository of the original SALNs of the President, the Vice President and the constitutional officials. 

LIABILITIES

DUTERTE

MARTIN ANDANAR

SALN

STATEMENT OF ASSETS

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