President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday again questioned the need to explain his wealth following the “garbage” reports about his ballooning income, adding he could explain his wealth in “due time.”
In his speech during the PDP-Laban campaign rally, the President again slammed a three-part report from the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism detailing the “sharp upticks” of his and his children’s Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth.
“I will tell you in due time. Wealth? I will hide it. Why would I tell you where I placed it? Stupid... I might get robbed. Do I have money? I have money, you fools,” Duterte said.
In its report, the PCIJ said the SALNs of the President and his children, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio and former Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte all “confusingly” increased during a 10-year span.
The PCIJ said the law firm Carpio & Duterte Lawyers, where Sara and her husband Mans Carpio are partners, had not registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission since its establishment a decade ago.
The President has previously slammed the PCIJ for scrutinizing documents connected with his family’s wealth, accusing it of being paid just to pursue stories against his family.
“You know, I’ve been mayor for 23 years, I’ve been a prosecutor for nine years, I’ve been in the practice of law four years before that, and I never lost in an election until the presidency,” Duterte said.
“But when you said it... Look at their trash. I do not have transactions in government because I do not allow it to reach my table.”
Duterte said the report from the PCIJ was “garbage from the opposition.”
But the PCIJ has denied links with the opposition, adding it has independently looked into the wealth of former Presidents.
Under the Republic Act 6713, or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, the President, including government employees and officials, are mandated “to accomplish and submit declarations under oath of, and the public has the right to know, their assets, liabilities, net worth and financial and business interests, including those of their spouses and of unmarried children under 18 years of age living in their households.”
Submitting a SALN is also a yearly requirement under Section 8 of that code and Article XI Section 17 of the 1987 Constitution.
The code requires them to submit wealth declarations, including their real properties (improvements, acquisition costs, assessed value and current fair market value), personal property and acquisition cost, all other assets (investments, cash on hand or in banks, stocks, bonds, etc.), and all business interests and financial connections.
Malacañang has already assured the public that the President has “properly” declared his wealth amid the report, challenging the PCIJ and even former Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno to file appropriate charges against the Dutertes.
Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea also came to the defense of the President, saying the President’s critics and detractors were just nitpicking on Duterte’s SALN and merely trying to make an issue out of even the “minutest detail” in hopes to pin the President for some wrongdoing but all “failed.”