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Monday, June 17, 2024

Duterte, Cabinet urged to release SALNs following ‘Pandora Papers’

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With the surfacing of the “Pandora Papers,” a staunch critic of President Duterte on Wednesday dared the Chief Executive and his Cabinet officials to release their statement of assets, liabilities, and net worth (SALN).

Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate said the President and his men must publicly release fully their SALNs in line with the constitutional principle of accountability and transparency for public officials.

“If you are not hiding anything, do not wait till your names are later on included in the Pandora Papers or on other similar exposè on the hidden wealth of the greedy powerful, rich or corrupt persons. The SALN of President Duterte and his entire Cabinet should be made public to prove that they were not enriched themselves while holding public office or had no hidden wealth,” Zarate said.

He cited the case of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade being one of the Filipino tycoons and government officials cited in the “Pandora Papers” as reported by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) and Rappler.

The “Pandora Papers” are leaked documents detailing offshore accounts of presidents, heads of states, businessmen, celebrities, billionaires, etc.

“Sec. Tugade, for instance, claimed that he declared his offshore companies in his SALN yet he did not list down the details, not even the names of these companies,” said Zarate.

Zarate added that “for full transparency, it would be even better if they also sign a waiver to have their bank accounts scrutinized aside from releasing their SALNs.” 

The Bayan Muna lawmaker added that “as it is now, people cannot be blamed for thinking that Duterte and his cohorts enriched themselves in power and that is why they are hiding of their SALNs up till now.”

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