Unlike Duterte, Pacquiao to release SALN if elected President

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Manny Pacquiao on Thursday said he is willing to release his statement of assets, liabilities, and net worth (SALN) if he were to be elected President.

“Dapat talaga ipalabas natin ‘yung SALN natin. ‘Di tayo pwedeng magkaroon ng bias pagdating sa pag-iimplement ng batas natin,” he said in a press conference.

(We should really release the SALN. We shouldn’t have any bias on who should follow the law or not.)

“Kung kailangan ilabas SALN natin, requirement ‘yan, ilalabas natin taon taon  ‘yan, susunod tayo,” he added.

(If we need to release the SALN, we will release it every year, we will comply.)

President Rodrigo Duterte’s last publicly accessible SALN was in 2017 where he declared a net worth of P28.5 million. Despite requests to disclose the document, the President’s 2018 and 2019 SALNs have yet to be made public.

Malacañang has said Duterte is leaving it up to the Office of the Ombudsman to release his SALNs to the public.

In September last year, the Ombudsman issued a memorandum circular limiting the instances when a public official’s SALN could be accessed by a requesting party.

Pacquaio said he is in favor of allowing to make public a government official’s SALN.

“Dapat lang. Kulang pa nga yang SALN eh. ‘Pag ako naging Presidente, baka magulantang sila. Pupunta ako sa ibang bansa, hahabulin ko lahat yung mga Pilipino na may mga account na malalaki na pulitiko sa Pilipinas,” he said.

(It should be allowed. The SALN is not even enough. If I become President, they might be surprised. I will go to other countries and I will pursue politicians who have accounts there.)

The boxer-turned-politician vows to fight corruption should he be elected President, citing that it as one of the country’s biggest problems as it causes mass poverty and stunted economic growth.

Pacquiao earlier claimed there was over P10 billion in pandemic aid intended for pandemic-hit families which was unaccounted for.

He even claimed the Department of Social Welfare, the Department of Energy, and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources are among the corrupt agencies in the government.

This tirade, along with his critical remarks on the administration’s policies, especially on the West Philippine Sea, marred his close relationship with Duterte, even leading the supposed dominant party PDP-Laban to split into to factions as they separately supported Pacquiao and Duterte-led wing.

However, the two has seemingly since buried the hatchet when Duterte and Pacquiao met in early November during a meeting in Malacañang.

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