MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte has properly declared his wealth in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) and does not need to further explain where it came from.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said not identifying the source of wealth in the SALN was not a violation of the Constitution, contrary to what the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) implied in its report.
“What is prohibited is when you do not declare your assets. But he (Duterte) has declared them, so what’s the hullabaloo?” Panelo said. “Ang violation (of the 1987 Constitution) iyong hindi mo dineclare.”
In a report by the PCIJ released last week, Duterte and his family were called out to answer queries over their wealth as it did not seem to add up to their “modest” salary.
Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea dismissed the investigative report saying that the detractors were just nitpicking on the President’s SALN.
“They have tried to make an issue out of even the minutest detail in hopes to pin the President for some wrongdoing but to their dismay their efforts had all failed,” said Medialdea. “It must be made of record that President’s critics and detractors had been nitpicking on the President’s SALN.”
He added: “I can assure that the President remains committed to his cause to eradicate corruption and rid of the government of corrupt officials.”
In a speech in Iloilo City last Saturday, Duterte slammed the PCIJ report and accused journalists of being paid hacks. He added that his family earned outside their jobs as politicians./PN