Roxas claims: Duterte violated law by accepting Quiboloy gift
ILOILO CITY – As a public official, accepting lavish gifts while in government service is a flagrant violation of the law, Liberal Party standard-bearer Mar Roxas reminded Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday.
“Alam niyo po, malinaw na malinaw ang batas. Unang-una po, labag po na tumanggap kahit anong regalo mula sa kahit sino ang mga lingkod-bayan,” Roxas told reporters in an ambush interview at the Iloilo International Airport hours before the LP grand rally in this province.
But the problem with Duterte, who is a lawyer, is that he has no respect for the law, Roxas claimed, noting the mayor’s alleged killing of criminals without due process.
“Ang problema sa’yo, Mayor Duterte, abogado ka pa naman. Kung hindi convenient sa ’yo, lalabagin mo ang batas, lalapastanganin mo ang batas, papatay ka ng tao, itatago mo ang kayamanan mo, magsisinungaling ka dahil hindi convenient sa’yo,” he said.
On Monday, Duterte admitted receiving expensive gifts—including three lots in Davao City, a Nissan Safari and a Ford Expedition—from Pastor Apollo Quiboloy of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, a long-time pal of the feisty mayor.
The mayor also said he would continue accepting favors from Quiboloy, including the use of religious leader-businessman’s private jet, if he becomes President.
Under Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, government officers are prohibited from acceptimg gifts of significant value from “a person other than a member of the public officer’s immediate family…even on the occasion of a family celebration or national festivity like Christmas, if the value of the gift is under the circumstances manifestly excessive.”
Undeclared properties in SALN
Roxas also noted Duterte’s supposed failure to declare those pieces of property in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN), another violation of the law with a penalty of dismissal from service.
“Bakit hindi ito nakasama sa iyong SALN? Kung wala ka namang tinatago, di ba? Simpleng-simple po eh. Nakasaad sa batas, nakasaad sa reglamento. Lahat ng pag-aari, regalo, mana, bili, utang, lahat po ay nakasama dapat sa SALN. Eh bakit itinatago ito?” he said.
The former Interior secretary, who has long been in a word war with the leading presidential candidate, again called Duterte “a liar” who is making up excuses to dodge corruption allegations against him.
“Una, sinabi mo hindi iyo ang mga bank accounts na ito. Tapos nung nahuli ka na, gumagawa ka ng istorya. Tapos ngayon ayaw mo ipakita sa taumbayan ang tunay ninyong kayamanan. Ito po ay mga [pag]labag sa batas. Hindi lang sa batas, labag ito sa tiwala na hinihingi natin mula sa ating kababayan,” he said.
Roxas, who is trailing Duterte but catching up with Senator Grace Poe at second place in some opinion surveys, reminded the mayor that the foundation of the election is the trust of the people in their leader.
“Tiwala ang pinag-uusapan sa eleksyon na ito. Yan ang pinakapundasyon ng lider sa mga kababayan natin. Tiwala na walang tinatago, tiwala na walang katiwalian, na lahat, hayag, tapat at talagang nakatutok sa kapakanan ng mamamayan, walang ibang interes,” he said.