MANILA (UPDATE)— Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. on Monday rejected making public his statement of assets, liabilities, and net worth (SALN) if he wins the presidency in the May elections.
Marcos said SALNs could be weaponized for political attacks and that giving the media access to the document may also be used by political opponents.
"Depends what the purposes are for making them public; if the purpose is going to be a political attack, then why would we want to do that?" Marcos said of publicizing his SALN.
He cited as an example the 2012 impeachment of then Chief Justice Renato Corona for failing to file his wealth declaration.
"If you look at it even more closely, it was a political decision. It was not an effective decision or objective judgment of what he had done. So if that is going to be the purpose for it, some political agenda, then I don't see the reason that the SALN should be given," Marcos told a forum.
"Maybe my experience with Corona impeachment has a lot to do with it. It really does. Because they made something out of nothing," he continued.
However, he agreed to give access to his SALN if it is subject of a trial or a case.
"It can be given, but not to the public, but to the agents of the board or the board itself, whatever the board maybe. I think that's a workable solution," said the son and namesake of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
"Kasi kung lahat lahat ng politiko may kalaban, eh makakahanap yan, makakagawa ng issue. And my prime example is Corona. Walang issue eh. Gumawa sila, tinanggal siya, manipulated the analysis of his SALN to make it look like he was hiding something."
(If all politicians have opponents, they can find, manufacture an issue. And my prime example is Corona. There was no issue. They made one, and then removed him.)
Marcos was one of only three senators who voted not to oust Corona. The other two were then senators Joker Arroyo and Miriam Defensor Santiago.
LAST PUBLIC SALN
Marcos declared a net worth of P211 million in his 2015 SALN—his last SALN that ABS-CBN News obtained before his senatorial term expired in 2016.
His assets included a vast number of real properties in Laguna, Benguet, Ilocos Norte, Taguig City, and Mandaluyong City, all of which amounted to more than P66.6 million as of December 2015. However, a condo unit located in Ayala Avenue, Makati City, which he listed as “investments” under “personal properties,” was valued at P78 million –P11 million more than the value of all his listed real properties combined.
Marcos also declared that he owned 67 paintings, including one by Filipino national artist Jose Joya, which had an appraised value of P3.03 million. Also included in his collection is national hero Jose Rizal’s “Los Dos Pintores, Juan Luna y Felix R. Hidalgo” which he acquired in 1993 as a “gift” with an appraised value of more than P6 million as of December 2015, according to his SALN declaration.
Aside from these, Marcos also declared jewelry worth P15 million and 10 vehicles valued at P17.6 million. He also declared he had P23.6 million in "shares of stocks/securities” and listed business interests with holding companies NIV Holdings Inc. and SASIVI Holdings Inc. in Pasig City, management company Augustus Management Inc. in Ilocos Norte, and a “professional partnership” with MOST Law Firm located in Pasig City.
WHERE OTHER CANDIDATES STAND
All other presidential candidates are in favor of disclosing officials' wealth declaration.
Vice President Leni Robredo in several instances urged rivals and President Rodrigo Duterte to make public their SALN.
Sen. Manny Pacquiao said on Monday, "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 do not know what other candidates want. But under my leadership, the president will not be the only one obligated to disclose his SALN, but all government officials.)
Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso agreed that all public officials should disclose their SALN, noting it is "a public document."
Sen. Panfilo Lacson said he would waive his rights under the Bank Secrecy Law and urge other government officials to do so should he win the presidential race.
In another interview on ANC, he said politicians who refuse to release their SALN must be hiding something.
“Eh, may tinatago (then they are hiding something),” the lawmaker said when asked how he will describe such politicians, adding that he has just released his 2018, 2019 and 2020 SALNs
While disclosing one's SALN is not mandatory, the people have a right to know any sign of abuse, argued labor leader Leody De Guzman.
“Ang pagtangging ilabas ang SALN ng isang opisyal ng pamahalaan ay katrayduran sa mamamayan,” he said in a statement.
(A government official's refusal to release the SALN is a betrayal of the people.)