Roxas to Duterte: Prove that your hands are cleaner than your mouth
Liberal Party standard-bearer Mar Roxas on Wednesday urged other presidential candidates to join him in waiving their bank secrecy rights after Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte was alleged to have an undeclared P211 million in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN).
At the same time, Roxas challenged Duterte to prove to the people that his hands are cleaner than his mouth.
“Mayor Digong, liwanagin mo para sa taong bayan kung ang kamay mo ay mas malinis kaysa iyong bibig (Mayor Digong, clarify to the people whether your hands are cleaner than your mouth),” he said in a statement.
The former Interior secretary, who is in the vote-rich Cebu province to campaign, said he is ready to sign a bank secrecy waiver for the Office of the Ombudsman to scrutinize his accounts.
“As a private citizen, I am no longer duty bound to disclose my statement of assets and liabilities and net worth. Nevertheless, I strongly adhere to the principles of transparency and accountability. Kaya, handa akong pumirma ng waiver sa aking mga bank accounts para tingnan ng Ombudsman (So I am ready to sign a waiver for my bank accounts to be investigated by the Ombudsman). I invite all candidates to follow my lead,” he said.
Duterte allegedly had at least P211 million in a Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) account in 2014, independent vice presidential candidate Senator Antonio Trillanes IV revealed to Inquirer. This despite receiving a monthly salary of P78,946 as a mayor.
Trillanes, who recently figured in verbal war with Duterte, said the mayor did not declare this in his 2014 SALN where he reported a net worth of P21,971,732.62—assets worth P22,971,732.62 and a liability of P1 million.
Duterte, however, denied the existence of the BPI account that contained millions of pesos and called it a mere “fabrication of Trillanes.”
The tough-talking mayor maintained that he would not issue a waiver for the said account.
If Duterte’s wealth came from a legitimate source, Roxas said the mayor does not have a reason to hide it to the public.
“Lahat ng kandidato, humihiling ng tiwala sa mamamayan. Kasama na si Digong. Tungkulin natin ang humanap ng linaw tungkol sa isyung ito. Kung lehitimo ang pinanggalingan ng kayaman, bakit ito ikahihiya?” he said.
(All candidates ask for the people’s trust. That includes Digong. It is our duty to find clarity on this issue. If the wealth came from legitimate sources, then why would you be ashamed of it?)
“Trustworthiness is at the very core of everyone’s campaign. Including Digong’s. The people are entitled to straight answers to straight questions. It is our responsibility to make sure things are clarified,” he added.
As a former public official, Roxas said he had been religiously submitting his SALN for more than two decades, saying he is confident that there is nothing questionable in his properties.
“Gaya ng sinabi ko, hindi importante kung paano tayo dumating dito sa mundo. Mas mahalaga kung ano ang ginawa natin sa buhay natin: Naging tapat ba tayo? Tinalikuran ba natin ang pagnanakaw at katiwalian? Ito ang mga prinsipyong pinaglalaban natin at ‘yan ang hangad ng mga disenteng Pilipino, tapat, malinis, at matinong pagsisilbi sa ating mga kababayan,” he said.
“Kasama po sa mga patunay niyan ang mga SALN na aking ipinasa sa mahigit dalawang dekada ko as a public servant. Nakahayag ang lahat, walang nakatago, walang kuwestiyunable.”
(Like what I said before, it is not important how we came into this world. What is more important is what we have done with our lives: have we been sincere? Have we shunned corruption and stealing? These are the principles we fight for and that’s what decent Filipinos aspire for, sincere, clean and sensible service for our people.
Proof of this includes the SALN that I have submitted in the more than my two decades as a public servant. Everything is declared, nothing is questionable.) CDG