No exemption to SALN transparency policy under a Pacquiao presidency, senator vows

Published January 24, 2022, 7:36 PM

by Ben Rosario

PROMDI Party standard bearer Sen. Manny Pacquiao pledged Monday, Jan. 24 to grant public access not only to his annual Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth but also to those submitted by all officials of the government.

Sen. Manny Pacquiao Bayugan

Pacquiao made this promise after his rival, former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.., told a media interview that opening SALN to the public is not part of his plans if he becomes president.

Marcos said he is wary that the SALN might be used against him by political rivals.

“Hindi ko alam kung ano ang gusto ng ibang kandidato basta sa ilalim po ng aking pamumuno, di lang po ang pangulo ang obligadong isapubliko ang SALN kundi maging ang lahat ng opisyal ng gobyerno. (I don’t know what other candidates want but under my leadership, not only is the president obligated to make the SALN public but all other government officials, as well),” Pacquiao said.

The Filipino boxing icon is among the highest paid sports personality in the world during his reign in eight international boxing divisions.

He ranks among the richest members of the Senate, according to the comparison of SALNs submitted by senators a few years ago.

During his term as congressman, Pacquiao consistently ranked no. 1 among the wealthiest.

Government officials, backed by the Ombudsman and the Supreme Court, started keeping their SALN confidential mostly at the start of the reign of President Rodrigo Duterte as chief executive in 2016.

A Marcos presidency will adopt the same policy as he stressed that he does not see a reason why SALN should be given” if it will used in politics.