MANILA, Philippines – Presidential bets Vice President Leni Robredo and Leody De Guzman said that candidates who are afraid to release their Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALNs) have something to hide.
On Monday, January 24, dictator’s son Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said he will not release his SALN if he is elected president, according to a tweet by CNN Philippines.
In a statement, Robredo spokesperson Barry Gutierrez said that releasing an official’s SALN is proof of transparency.
“Ang walang tinatago, hindi dapat matakot ilabas ang SALN. Obligasyon ito sa Konstitusyon at batas, at patunay na tapat at malinis ang isang lingkod-bayan,” said Gutierrez.
(Those who have nothing to hide should not be afraid to release their SALN. This is an obligation in our Constitution and in the laws, and is proof that an official is honest and clean.)
Gutierrez noted that Robredo has regularly disclosed her SALN.
“Paano tayo makapagtitiwala sa isang taong, sa simpleng tungkulin na lang na ito, hindi pa kayang tumupad?” Robredo’s spokesperson said.
(How do we trust a person who, for such a simple duty, could not do it?)
De Guzman also said Monday that Marcos Jr.’s refusal to release his SALN showed that he had something to hide. He said that he supported the release of SALNs, including bank records, of all government officials, especially elected ones.
“Ang pagtangging ilabas ang SALN ng isang opisyal ng pamahalaan ay katrayduran sa mamamayan.… Pinatutunayan lamang ni Marcos Jr. ang hinala ng marami na may tinatago siya sa publiko,” said De Guzman.
(Refusing to release an official’s SALN is an act of betrayal to the public.… Marcos Jr. proved the suspicion of many that he has something to hide from the public.)
Other presidential bets also agree that SALNs should be disclosed. In the current administration, Ombudsman Samuel Martires ordered that officials need to give their consent before SALNs could be made public. This was after President Rodrigo Duterte consistently refused to release his SALNs.
In an interview with DZBB radio on Monday, Senator Panfilo Lacson said he was willing to share this document if elected as president. He said he would sign a bank secrecy waiver on his first day if he was elected.
Asked if he would compel other government officials to do the same, he said he would only encourage them, but would set himself as the standard.
“We do leadership by example,” he said.
Lacson and his running mate, Senate President Vicente Sotto III, vowed not to comment on other candidates.
Senator Manny Pacquiao also did not comment specifically on Marcos Jr.’s statement, but he said that he would disclose his and all government official’s SALNs should he win the top post.
“Hindi ko alam kung ano ang gusto ng ibang kandidato. Basta sa ilalim po ng aking pamumuno, ‘di lang po ang pangulo ang obligadong isapubliko ang SALN kundi maging ang lahat ng opisyal ng gobyerno,” said Pacquiao.
(I don’t know what other candidates want. But if I were to become the president, not only the president would be obligated to publicize his SALN, but all government officials.)
Manila Mayor Isko Moreno has yet to comment on the matter, but in GMA News’ special program The Jessica Soho Presidential Interviews, he answered in favor of publicizing SALNs. – with reports from Mara Cepeda and Rambo Talabong/Rappler.com