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Isko Moreno has no problem making his SALN public if elected president

By: - Contributor / @inquirerdotnet
02:05 PM January 26, 2022
isko Moreno

Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso. FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso on Tuesday said he has no problem making public his Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) if he becomes president.

Moreno made the remark after he signed Executive Order No. 11 which cancels all activities in the celebration of the Chinese New Year on February 1 as precautionary measure to prevent the further spread of Covid-19 particularly the highly transmissible Omicron variant.

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“Aba, oo naman. Di ba requirements ‘yun? Sina-submit naman ‘yun. Sa akin nasa gobyerno,” Moreno told reporters during a press conference at the Manila City Hall.

Asked if he is ready to share his SALN to the public, the 47-year-old presidential aspirant said the copy of his SALN has already been sent to the Office of the Ombudsman.

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“Anda-dyan na, nasa Ombudsman. Wala naman tayong itinatago. In fact, di ba naalala mo ‘yung tanong nung kay Jessica (Soho) ‘yung sobra duon sa ano campaign funds sinagot natin. Nagbayad pa ako ng buwis mga P13 million, P9.7 million something plus P3 million something ang binayaran kong buwis. Kasi ‘yun ang batas. ‘Yun ‘yung dapat mong gawin. Importante ‘yun,” Moreno pointed out.

Moreno previously said all government officials should be open to disclosing their SALN being a public document. He added that as elected officials, “their properties, belongings and their debts” are stated in the document.

“Everyone down the line… ‘yun ang sinabi ng batas,” Moreno said.

Moreno said during The Jessica Soho Presidential Interviews aired over GMA 7 last January 22 that he paid taxes to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) in relation to the P50.55 million excess campaign fund for his 2016 senatorial run.

“Yes. Because I have to pay taxes. Kapag may natira sa kampanya, dahil ‘yan naman ay pooled account, pooled money, iba’t-ibang tao, you have to declare. Tapos kapag ‘yon ay nasa iyo na, eh kailangan mong magbayad ng buwis, which is ‘yun ang ginawa ko,” Moreno said.

When asked by Soho if what he did was right, Moreno insisted that no law was violated when he kept the excess funds as long as he paid the taxes for it.

“Eh ‘yun ang sinasabi ng BIR eh. Kasi hawak-hawak mo ‘yung pera. Eh limited ang gastusin mo sa kampanya, sumobra ang donation mo. So, tangan-tangan mo ‘yung pera. O, kailangan mong magbayad ng buwis at ‘yun ay lumalabas income mo,” Moreno said.

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Moreno found an ally in the Commission on Elections which maintained there is nothing wrong in keeping excess campaign fund donations as long as appropriate taxes are paid.

According to Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez, there is no rule mandating that the candidate should return the excess funds to the donor or use it for charitable purposes.

“The only rule that there is can be found in revenue regulations issued by the BIR which states very clearly that unspent campaign funds shall be treated as income and shall be subject to the payment of the appropriate income tax, so it follows that there really is nothing wrong with hanging on to unspent campaign funds as long as you pay taxes,” Jimenez said in an online press briefing.

“If I may just editorialize beyond that, ultimately the disposition of these funds is between the candidate and the donor, so if the donor sees nothing objectionable with that sort of use of the money they gave, that’s it, again, subject to the payment of appropriate taxes,” he added.

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TAGS: Elections 2022, Isko Moreno, Politics, SALN
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