If elected president, Bongbong Marcos says he won’t make his SALN public
MANILA, Philippines — Should he win in the May 2022 polls, presidential aspirant and former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said on Monday he will not make his statement of assets, liabilities, and net worth (SALN) public, especially if it would be used for political attacks.
“Depends on what the purposes are for making them public. If that purpose is going to be for political attack then why would we want to do that?” he said in a forum with the ALC media group when asked if he will make his SALN public if he wins as the next president.
Marcos was also asked if he would order the Office of the Ombudsman to recall its restrictions limiting who can request for the SALN of the government official.
He cited the case of former Chief Justice Renato Corona, whose SALN Marcos said was politically used against him, eventually leading to the deceased chief magistrate’s impeachment.
“If you look at it even more closely, it [impeachment] was a political decision, it was not an objective decision or an objective judgment on what he had done,” he said.
“So if that is going to be the purpose for it, some political agenda, then I don’t see the reason why the SALN should be given,” Marcos added.
The only time an official’s SALN should be released, Marcos said, is when there is a case filed but this still would not be accessible to the public but only to the court.
“Lahat ng politiko may kalaban eh. Makakahanap ‘yan, gagawan ng issue ‘yan kahit na walang issue,” he said.
(All politicians have enemies. Enemies would find ways and even create issues even if there is none.)
“I think we have to be more protective. If it is going to be used to victimize the person through their SALN, then I don’t see why you would do that,” Marcos added.
Taking a page out of Duterte’s book
President Rodrigo Duterte has also not been making public his SALN, especially after the Ombudsman issued a memorandum circular limiting the instances when a public official’s SALN could be accessed by a requesting party.
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.
The Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG), created by Executive Order No. 1, the first edict that the late Corazon Aquino signed shortly after assuming power after People Power 1 precisely to recover alleged ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses, has so far recovered P174.2 billion.
This amount is on top of the P125 billion worth of assets that the Marcos family, whose patriarch is the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr., has yet to return to the government coffers as these are still tied up in litigation in various courts.
The Marcos family also owed the Philippine government of P203 billion in estate tax, according to retired Supreme Court associate justice Antonio Carpio.
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