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Belmonte would rather reveal girlfriend than disclose SALN
The online news portal of TV5

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., a widower, would rather reveal his girlfriend first before disclosing his Statement of Assets Liabilities and Net worth (SALN). 

He made this remark in jest on Monday when he was asked when he would publicly disclose the details of his SALN. 

“Ipakita ko muna sa’yo iyong girl friend ko,” Belmonte said. "That’s a joke. You know I am like a priest now."

Anybody from the 284 members of the House of Representatives can release a copy of their SALN if they want to, Belmonte said. 

No consensus has yet been made on whether the chamber would compel all lawmakers to disclose their respective documents. 

Belmonte said he will assign three or five lawmakers representing the political parties in the chamber to get the sentiment of their members on SALN disclosure. 

“I think I want to find out what other people think,” he said. 

The House leader stressed that congressmen are politicians, who have opponents in their respective districts who can use their SALN against them. 

“Remember we are all politicians here. We have built-in opponents in our districts...I wouldn’t like to commit 284 people just because I happen to be the speaker at the moment, so I’m trying to get a consensus from all of them,” he said. 

The group that will do the consultation among the lawmakers could pose another delay to the disclosure of their SALN. 

During the impeachment trial of then Chief Justice Renato Corona, Belmonte and several lawmakers who belong to the prosecution team refused to reveal their SALN, saying they do not want to veer attention away from the chief magistrate who was on trial. 

To date, only 16 lawmakers have furnished copies of the SALN to