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Inabayaw: Sagada Mayor Has Failed to Submit His SALN Since 2007?

After waking up from a night with an element of disaster-free earthquake, a news article published on Friday about an accusation that the mayor of my hometown Sagada, Eduardo Latawan, has not submitted his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Networth (SALN) caught my attention on Facebook.

Photo Courtesy of Hataw Tabloid

Whether it is true or not that Latawan is guilty of the accusation, I cannot help but notice things in the news article.

The title of the article is about Sagada mayor facing charges for allegedly not submitting his SALN. However, the story on Baguio City mayor Domogan advising government officials submitting their SALN has taken more paragraphs of the news article than the story of the Sagada mayor.

If my judgment serves me right, it is like an article on Yahoo! or in a tabloid newspaper capitalizing on the fame of Latawan for the article's publicity.

I cannot help but notice that Grace Bandoy, known for being vocal against anti-SM protesters then, is addressed as “anti-graft crusader”. It is my first time to encounter that term and I do not know the exact requirements in journalism to call someone that way.

The article is dated on January 9, a Friday. As mentioned, the Mayor Latawan “cannot be reached for comment”. I would like to assume that a Friday or close days before Friday is a weekday wherein all offices are open. So, I would like to assume that the mayor was absent at his office so he could not be reached for his side of the story.

I will be forever grateful to Bandoy if her accusation is true. Why do we need to have an “anti-graft crusader” to exert sweat just to make sure that all government officials are submitting their SALN, when there is an agency for that! I cannot blame why people keep on losing their faith in our system.

Mayor Latawan has been in his office for three terms already. And if it is true that he never has submitted his SALN since 2007, ay inayan ubpay sa!

Christian is a Marketing Communications practitioner in Quezon City. He is an Igorot from Sagada, Mountain Province. To get in touch with him, please shoot an email to christianaligonow@gmail.com.


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