MANILA, Philippines – Senator Antonio Trillanes IV on Monday signed an “unqualified” waiver that allows the Office of the Ombudsman access to his bank accounts.
The signing of the waiver came a week after the Senate, acting as an impeachment court, removed from office former Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona for his failure to declare cash assets in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth.
The waiver relinquishes the absolute confidentiality guaranteed by laws on Secrecy of Bank Deposits and the Foreign Currency Deposit Act. Corona signed a similar waiver after evidence surfaced that he had undeclared pesos and dollar accounts.
Trillanes is the third Senator to file the unqualified waiver similar to that filed by Corona during the impeachment trial. Earlier, Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero submitted his waiver to the Office of the Ombudsman while Senator Bong Revilla had earlier said that he will submit his signed waiver to the Ombudsman within the week.
“It is a time-honoured principle that a public office is a public trust. It is enshrined in the Constitution, the highest law of the land, and such command deserves utmost respect and must be the foremost rule in public service,” Trillanes said.
He said the public office must only be held as long as the people surrender their utmost trust to the public official.
“We can only maintain this public trust through transparency and accountability in our government transactions, as well as in our personal assets that we declare,” he said.
‘“By signing this waiver, we respond not only to the fervent call of our people for transparency and accountability, but more importantly, we fulfil our duty to the people and the Constitution which comes along with our mandate as elected public officials,” he added.