Contrary to laws, public access to the SALNs has been problematic, with custodians issuing directives that either go beyond reasonable requirements or plainly restrict access.
By law, SALNs must contain detailed information on an official’s real and personal properties, loans and other liabilities, and net worth as well as business interests, financial connections and relatives in government.
Ombudsman Martires knew that as a public official with expertise and mandate on the issues raised, he was speaking face to face with a journalist with a legitimate journalistic purpose, on a matter of public interest. The conversation occurred in a public space and even with the full knowledge and in full view of his own personnel from the Office of the Ombudsman.
Rodrigo R. Duterte is a most secretive President when it comes to the details of his wealth. To this day, eight months after the April 30 deadline for filing, he has not released a copy of his Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN) for 2018. By all indications, Duterte sticks out as the lie of his own Freedom of Information (FOI) edict.