‘Ludicrous,’ Palace says of Sereno call
MANILA, Philippines — The Palace on Tuesday brushed off as “ludicrous and ironic” former Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno’s call for President Duterte to explain his wealth.
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo was reacting to Sereno’s statement on Monday that it was the duty of the President to explain the significant increases in his family’s earnings instead of merely saying it was nobody’s business.
Sereno’s remark was based on a report released on Thursday by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ), which found sudden, significant increase in the incomes of the President and his children, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte and former Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, since they started holding public office.
“The law does not require the filer to explain the increases in their income, if there are any. Any contrary argument is an undue expansion of the commands of the law pertaining to the transparency of a public official’s or employee’s property,” Panelo said.
Sen. Risa Hontiveros, for her part, said the President’s businesses outside of public office were a matter of public interest.
Hontiveros made the statement in a television interview on Tuesday morning after Mr. Duterte slammed the PCIJ report which stated, among others, that the President did not declare his interest in the Fabiosa Duterte Cimafranca Carcedo law office in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth.
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