House minority asks Aquino to explain sudden rise in networth | Inquirer News

House minority asks Aquino to explain sudden rise in networth

/ 10:54 PM January 29, 2012

President Benigno Aquino III. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—The opposition in the House of Representatives said on Sunday that President Aquino should also be impeached if he failed to explain the sudden rise of his networth.

House Minority Leader Danilo Suarez said the President should explain to the public the jump in his personal wealth based on his statement of assets, liabilities and networth (SALN)—up 256 percent from P15,440,268 in 2009 to P54,999,370 in 2010—or he would be impeached on the same ground as Article 2 of the impeachment complaint against Corona.


House prosecutors have claimed that Chief Justice Renato Corona’s income would not justify the jump in his networth from P8 million 2002 to P22 million in 2010.


“The minority will meet tomorrow to decide what action to take. In the meantime, the results of the impeachment case against Corona, specifically those involving his SALN, will be very interesting because it will have a bearing on how the President’s SALN will be judged,” Suarez said in an interview with the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

He said Aquino’s failure to explain the surge in his wealth could be sufficient ground for an impeachment complaint against the President.

But with the House dominated by the President’s allies, Suarez said impeaching him would be difficult “even if we had damning proof of it.”

He said the House prosecution team apparently had not taken into consideration the impact of its “hurried and ill-conceived” impeachment complaint against Corona, specifically the inclusion of the SALN and belated addition of ill-gotten wealth charges, on the President and his allies in Congress.

Suarez said Corona would have an easier time explaining the sudden jump in his SALN because it involved a smaller amount and covered close to a decade than the President whose wealth surged in one year.

Just like in the case of Corona, Suarez said the President should reveal how much taxes he paid, including those of his siblings, based on the assumption that the money came from his share of the Hacienda Luisita.


Contrary to the “brash and sweeping” claim of the prosecution that Corona could be pinned down solely on his SALN, Suarez said the Chief Justice should be able to explain the discrepancy between the values of his properties in his SALN and tax declarations because there was no “hard and fast rule” on how much should an asset be booked in a public official’s SALN.

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TAGS: congressmen, House of Representatives, Presidency

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