MANILA - Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade on Tuesday said his family's offshore investments were "valid and legal" and that he has been disclosing them as required since 2012.
The offshore investments were disclosed in his Sworn Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) under "Personal Properties - Intangible," particularly as "Offshore Investments" from 2012 to 2020, Tugade said.
"Wala po akong tinatago, at sasagutin ko ang anumang paratang at katanungan in appropriate forums and manner," Tugade said.
(I am not hiding anything and I will answer all accusations and questions in appropriate forums and manner)
The Transport chief was responding to a report released by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) detailing the "Pandora Papers" about the secret wealth of some of the world's top business and political leaders.
Tugade is a director of Solart Holdings Limited, a British Virgin Islands company since 2007, according to the data leaked to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).
In a statement, Tugade said his offshore investment "is a matter of public record." Solart was established in 2003 to hold part of his family's cash assets, he said.
"The subject offshore investments in Solart Holdings was a personal financial move that was established long before I joined government," Tugade said.
He also apologized for not acting on the interview request by PCIJ prior to the publication of the report saying he was left unaware of this due to "administrative oversight."
In July, Duterte urged Tugade, his law school classmate, to run as a senator in the 2022 national elections.
ICIJ says the Pandora Papers contain details of over 11.9 million files leaked from 14 offshore finance providers, which include 900 individuals based in the Philippines.