Ombudsman looks into lawmakers' SALNs

Posted at 04/22/14 3:48 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The Office of the Ombudsman is looking into the statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) and other service-related records of some incumbent and former congressmen.

The leadership of the House of Representatives has authorized concerned secretariat personnel to release to the Office of the Ombudsman documents on incumbent Rep. Abdullah Dimaporo of the second district of Lanao del Norte, and former representatives Erico Basilio Fabian of Zamboanga City and Loreto Leo Ocampos of the second district of Misamis Occidental.

Fabian and Ocampos were members of the last Congress.

In Dimaporo’s case, the documents sought by the Ombudsman are his personal data sheet, service record and oath of office in 2004.

As for Ocampos, the documents needed are his SALNs from 2004 to 2011.

In the case of Fabian, the ombudsman requested for his SALN “from the start of service up to the present,” together with his personal data sheet, oath of office and service record.

The documents were being sought in connection with pending criminal cases against the three. The case numbers were cited in the requests sent by different prosecutors of the ombudsman to the House.

Deputy Ombudsman Gerard Mosquera is handling Fabian’s case, while Deputy Ombudsman for Mindanao Humphrey Monteroso is investigating Ocampos.

Prosecutors Anabelen Estrada Ronquillo and Maribel Mariano Beltran are looking into Dimaporo’s papers.

In authorizing the release of the documents, the House has determined that the requests were “a proper exercise of jurisdiction” of the Office of the Ombudsman.

Other than the case numbers, the specifics of the cases the incumbent and former congressmen are facing were not contained in the requests.

In the past, prosecutors of the ombudsman who sought similar documents asked the respondents to explain their wealth and net worth as declared in their SALN.

The Office of the Ombudsman has also asked the House for the service records of at least six personnel of the chamber facing criminal charges.

Government officials and employees are required to file their SALN every year. The filing deadline is April 30.

The president and vice president submit their SALNs to the Office of the Ombudsman. Lawmakers file their asset statements with their respective chambers. Other state personnel present their SALNs to the Civil Service Commission.

In May 2012, the Senate impeachment court convicted and removed then chief justice Renato Corona for failing to declare some of his assets in his SALN.

During the 2013 election campaign, a senator seeking reelection was accused of not declaring a New York apartment in her asset statement.