TALISAY CITY – Liberal Party (LP) standard bearer Mar Roxas II on Wednesday dared Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to “prove to the public if his hands are cleaner than his mouth” after reports surfaced that his rival allegedly has Php211 million stashed in a bank account that was not declared in his statement of assets and liabilities (SALN).
“Mayor Digong, liwanagin mo para sa taong bayan kung ang kamay mo ay mas malinis kaysa iyong bibig. Trustworthiness is at the very core of everyone’s campaign. The people are entitled to straight answers to straight questions. It is our responsibility to make sure things are clarified,” Roxas said during a press briefing while campaigning at the vote-rich province of Cebu.
The former Interior and Local Government Secretary said that all candidates, including Duterte, have been asking the people to trust them and they should not hide their wealth if it came from legitimate sources – and one way to prove it is through their SALNs.
According to a newspaper report, Duterte and his daughter Sara allegedly has Php211 million in a joint Bank of the Philippine Islands account that was not declared in his 2014 SALN.
This was despite receiving only a monthly salary of Php78,946 per month as a mayor.
Roxas said that through his more than two decades as a public servant, he had faithfully and dutifully filed his SALN.
“Nakahayag ang lahat, walang nakatago, walang kuwestiyunable,” he said.
The administration bet noted, however, that in his present capacity as a private citizen, he is no longer duty bound to disclose his SALN.
“Nevertheless, I strongly adhere to the principles of transparency and accountability. I am ready to sign a waiver to let the Ombudsman scrutinize all my bank accounts and urged all candidates to follow my lead,” Roxas said as he slammed Duterte and his running mate Senator Alan Peter Cayetano for making an issue their act leading the signing of a pledge to open all bank accounts of all government officials and candidates when the Davao City mayor would not sign a secrecy waiver on the BPI account in question.
Duterte had earlier denied the existence of the Php211-million account but however refused to sign a secrecy waiver to open the account to scrutiny.
“Ginawa nilang malaking isyu ang pagpirma nila ng pledge to open bank accounts pero ayaw naman nyang pumirma ng waiver. Ang unang mga pumirma, ikaw po, Rodrigo Duterte, Alan Peter Cayetano. Nasa website po ito. Kayo po, matapos ‘yung pinakaunang debate, ipinangalandakan po ninyo ito sa lahat. At ngayon, ayaw mong pumirma ng waiver?” he posed to his rival.
The issue prompted Roxas to again issue his challenge to all his rivals to bare the all truth about their personal lives.
“As a candidate, we should be willing to be scrutinized. Ang pinaghuhugutan ng isang liderato ay ang tiwala ng mamamayan. Dapat ilabas ang lahat ng mga katotohanan para ang ating mga kababayan ay makapagpasya kung sino talaga ang karapat-dapat na ihalal na mamuno sa ating bansa,” he stressed.
“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,” Roxas said.