MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte slammed the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) for probing his family’s wealth, as he accused investigative journalists of pursuing stories because of money.
Duterte on Saturday, April 6, went on the defensive against a series of PCIJ reports on his relatives’ unregistered law firm and undisclosed business interests.
“Eh ngayon, tinitira kami ng mga anak ko. All about lawyering. Ano ba naman pakialam nila na what happened to my law office?” Duterte said during a motorcycle clubs’ convention in Iloilo City. (Now, my children and I are being attacked. All about lawyering. What do they care about what happened to my law office?)
“Huwag na kami. Kasi kami what we earned outside is none of your business actually. ‘Yung ano na may mga negosyo kami, may mga law office kami. What a goddamn shit,” added the President. (Don’t mess with us. Because what we earned outside is none of your business actually. We have businesses, we have law offices. What a goddamn shit.)
According to the PCIJ, the law firm Carpio & Duterte Lawyers, where presidential daughter Sara Duterte and her husband Mans Carpio are partners, has not been registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission since the firm’s creation 10 years ago.
The PCIJ also found in its recent report that Duterte and two of his children – Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte and former Davao City vice mayor Paolo Duterte – separately and together offered token or opaque data about their business interests that, under the law, they are required to reveal in their Statements of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth. (READ: Report: Inconsistent declarations of Duterte relatives in gov’t)
Duterte, who has blasted reports by other news outlets such as Rappler, lashed out at investigative journalists in response to the PCIJ investigation.
“Makita mo ‘yung utak ng mga investigative journalism kaya… Pera-pera lang. Binabayaran ‘yan kung gano’n kalaki. Pati nu’ng lawyering ko,” said the President. (Look at how those in investigative journalism think… It’s all about money. They get paid a huge sum if the story is that big. They even included my lawyering.)
Duterte said despite the allegations, he continues to focus on maintaining law and order in the country and removing graft and corruption in government.
He then credited his late mother Soledad Roa Duterte for his wealth.
“Putangina ninyo. Hoy, ‘yung mga dilaw, all the time I was with my mother. Maski na noong mayor na ako, ang nagpapakain sa akin nanay ko. ‘Yung nanay ko ang may pera. ‘Yun ang nanay ko nag-iwan ng pera sa amin. Pero kung magkano, eh bakit sabihin ko sa inyo?” said Duterte.
(Motherfuckers. You yellows, all the time I was with my mother. Even when I was still mayor, my mother fed me. My mother had the money. My mother left money for us. But as to how much, why would I tell you?)
The President has flip-flopped on the origins of his wealth in the past. He used to say in campaign speeches during the 2016 elections that his family started out “poor” in Davao City, where he was longtime mayor. In 2017, however, Duterte said his late father, former Davao governor Vicente Duterte, left them an inheritance. – with reports from PCIJ/Rappler.com