Ex­plain SALN

Sun.Star Pampanga - - TOPSTORIES! -

BOTH hap­pened in the same week.

The Philip­pine Cen­ter for Investigative Jour­nal­ism (PCIJ) re­leased its re­port on what seems to be un­usual spikes through the years in the state­ments of assets, li­a­bil­i­ties and net worth of Pres­i­dent Rodrigo Duterte, daugh­ter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Car­pio and son Paolo Duterte.

Hardly di­gested in the realm of pub­lic opin­ion, the re­port was way­laid by the Pres­i­dent’s fo­cus buster: his en­dowed pe­nis. So­cial me­dia lem­mings headed to­ward that end, while the PCIJ re­port, not quite fod­der for easy com­men­tary, vir­tu­ally re­treated into the shad­ows.

But rel­e­vant, ur­gent, grave as it is, the PCIJ re­port is worth a sec­ond, third look. The pub­lic must push for an ex­pla­na­tion, par­tic­u­larly in the heat of the po­lit­i­cal race when ac­count­abil­ity must be at the cen­ter of pub­lic d i sco u r se.

Sara Duterte, Hug­pong ng Pag­babago chair­per­son, must ex­plain why her law firm part­ner­ship with her hus­band Manases R. Car­pio, cre­ated 10 years ago, had not reg­is­tered at all with the Se­cu­ri­ties and Ex­change Com­mis­sion.

The Dutertes, ac­cord­ing to the PCIJ re­port, still ap­peared as share­hold­ers in a num­ber of in­vest­ments, and yet failed to de­clare these in their SALNs.

Some assets move­ments de­clared in Duterte’s SALN do not show reper­cus­sions in the SALNs of Sara and Paolo. They have also de­clared li­a­bil­i­ties as “var­i­ous per­sonal loans” that they owe to Davao-City busi­ness­men who also be­came their cam­paign donors. Some of the lat­ter would be ask­ing fa­vors, such as spe­cial im­por­ta­tion per­mits.

That, among others, have been re­ported in de­tail by the PCIJ.

Hug­pong’s lo­cal sup­port­ers worth their salt must also learn to con­front the is­sue head on, must ask the same ques­tion. Me­dia should also ask these lead­ers if only to make the PCIJ re­port, scream­ing of ac­count­abil­ity, an is­sue you can’t sweep un­der the rug, or be slammed down by some­thing as diminu­tive and low as the Pres­i­dent’s dan­gling lizard.— Sun­nex

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