MANILA, Philippines - Even if it was a campaign promise, President Aquino would not be forced to sign a waiver on his bank deposits, at least for now.
Deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said it would not be fair to put the President in the same category as former Chief Justice Renato Corona, echoing Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile’s description of Corona’s waiver and challenge as mere “theatrics.”
“Not at this time,” Valte said. “’Yung tao hong inaakusahan ang naghamon to every Tom, Dick, and Harry who would like to take him up on the challenge. Is it fair to put the President who has not been accused of graft, who has not been accused of dishonesty to put him in the same category as the man who was just removed from his post?” Valte said.
She added that the President’s statements of assets, liabilities, and net worth, as well as his Cabinet’s and other officials, already contain a waiver authorizing the Ombudsman to secure from all relevant government agencies information about an official’s assets, liabilities, net worth, business interests, and financial connections.
“There is already a waiver in the SALN that authorizes the Ombudsman to get all the relevant information from all government offices. Under the bank secrecy law, meron na rin pong exceptions doon that would trigger the opening of the accounts,” Valte said.
“Do we put other people in that same situation even when they are not accused of hiding anything? The members of the cabinet have all declared their assets. Their SALNs have been available to the public since they were sworn into office,” she added.
Valte also said that the President has no foreign currency deposits.