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Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade on Saturday said he dropped his plan to run as senator in the upcoming national elections in May due to “multiple reasons.”

“I decided not to file my certificate of candidacy for multiple reasons, one of which is by not filing my COC, I can emphasize that the efforts of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) in finishing projects are not, in any way, in aid of election,” Tugade said.

“It is just in doing and completing what we sincerely and honestly think is good for the country, the people, and the sambayanan,” he added.

Tugade was earlier included in the “Pandora Papers” report of the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) and Rappler, which alleged that he did not declare his offshore investment in his Statements of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN).

But Tugade denied any wrongdoing in his offshore investments in Solart Holdings as this was disclosed in his SALN.

Tugade said his offshore investments in Solart Holdings “was a personal financial move that was established long before I joined the government.”

“Solart Holdings was organized in 2003 to hold a portion of our family’s cash assets,” said Tugade, who was appointed President of the Clark Development Corporation (CDC) in 2012 and as Secretary of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) in 2016.

“Having some of our family’s savings invested in Solart Holdings was our legitimate attempt to grow our financial portfolio like what any astute and judicious entrepreneurs would do to diversify their investments. We decided to have a portion of our savings invested outside the Philippines, which is valid and legal,” Tugade added.

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