By Genalyn Kabiling
President Duterte has bared that his wealth will not exceed P28 million, and denied amassing riches from corruption.
To counter allegations he has ill-gotten funds, the President explained that his lifetime savings included inheritance from his parents.
“Hindi magsobra sa 28 million. Kasali na ang mana ko sa tatay ko ‘yun. And you can see because ang transaction ng papel eh [It will not exceed 28 million. It includes my inheritance from my father and you can see because of the paper transaction],” he said during the administration campaign rally in Pasig City last Saturday night in discussing his wealth.
Duterte, however, made it clear he was never involved in corruption while in public service. He mentioned anew that no government transaction or contract has reached his table at the Palace to avoid suspicion of any wrongdoing.
“Kaya kung kayong mga opposition, sabihin ninyo ikulong ninyo ako ng corruption, good riddance. Wala kayong makuha sa akin kasi umiiwas ako [So if the opposition thinks they can jail for corruption, good riddance, well they can’t get anything from me because I avoided it],” he said.
“Wala akong papel sa corruption [I don’t have any hand in corruption],” said Duterte, who previously claimed his wealth will not go beyond P40 million.
In explaining the source of his wealth, Duterte said he and his siblings actually sold some properties inherited from their parents since they were fighting over them. He claimed that his family “started poor” but their condition improved over the years. His father became Davao Governor while his mother was a school teacher.
“Nagkaron ako ng medyo malaki, hindi naman maliit pero substantial. Kasi hindi kami magkaintindihan, pinagbili namin ‘yung negosyo ng iniwan [I earned big, not small but substantial because we did not understand each other so we sold our business],” he said.
Duterte also offered anew to show his financial records to the public except for his political rivals who were supposedly trying to make a fool out of him.
“May pera ako ma’am. Sa totoo lang ‘yung sabihin nila sa Central Bank. Kung ikaw ang maghingi sa account ko, ibigay ko. Pero gawain akong uto-uto nitong mga senador na itong, mga Magdalo, p***** i** ninyo bakit ko ibigay sa inyo? [I have money. It’s true whatever the Central Bank says. If you ask for my account, I will give it. But for other senators, the Magdalo, to make a fool out of me, why would I give it to them?],” he said.
Amid questions on his wealth, the President recently declared that whatever his family earned outside of politics was nobody’s business.
Duterte defended his family after a media report showed they have become richer while in public office, and supposedly failed to disclose business interests in their Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Networth (SALN). The same report claimed that Duterte’s net worth soared to P28.5 million in 2017 from P934,000 in 1998.
The Palace said the timing of the report was suspect but assured that public documents on the matter, including SALNs, were of public record, and open for public scrutiny.