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Duterte: What my family earns outside of gov’t is none of your business

ILOILO CITY, Philippines–President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday evening hit back at reports raising questions on his family’s income and operation of their family’s law firm.

“What we earn outside (of government service) is none of your business actually,” the President said in a speech before around 2,000 delegates to the 25th National Convention of the National Federation of Motorcycle Clubs of the Philippines held at the Iloilo Convention Center here.

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While not naming the report and the news organization, the President was apparently referring to a series of reports of the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) which delved on the President, his daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio and son former Davao City vice mayor Paolo Duterte’s significant increase of income while in office

“Makita mo yung mga utak ng investigative journalists. Pera-pera lang yon (You see how the investigative journalists think. It’s just money for them),” the President said.

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The PCIJ series also raised questions on the family law firm and failure to disclose some business interests in their Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net worth (SALN).

Citing his SALNs, the PCIJ reported that the President’s net worth increased in a span of 20 years from P934,092 in June 1998 to P28,540,321 in 2017.

The President reiterated his strong stance against corruption saying he would be “firing a lot of people simply for corruption” when he returns to Manila.

He said he was not involved in initiating and signing of government contracts.

“It begins and ends with the Cabinet secretary,” he said.

The Philippine Reclamation Authority was placed under his office to speed up its work and because there was an internal “squabble over money,” according to the President.

The PCIJ reported that The Carpio & Duterte Lawyers firm, with Sara and husband Manaases Carpio as partners, was not registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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It also cited the prohibition on mayors and governors from exercising their profession. But the President said the law firm was a necessary option for their family.

“You know you have to have a law office because there is an election every three years. If you lose in these elections, where would you go?” the President said.

“There nothing wrong as long as you do not practice and you do not help people get something from government that is illegal. That is the one they should look into instead of our law office and what happened to our business partnership. It’s not your goddamn business. As long as it is not the people’s money, I don’t give a shit,” the President added.

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