MANILA -- President Rodrigo R. Duterte has criticized the report of the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) for scrutinizing his family’s wealth and accused journalists of being paid hacks.
“Eh ngayon, tinitira kami ng mga anak ko. All about lawyering. Ano ba naman pakialam nila na (Now, me and my children are being targeted. All about lawyering. What do they care about (what happened to my law office)?” Duterte said in a speech in Iloilo City on Saturday (April 6).
“Huwag na kami (Don’t include us). Kasi kami what we earned outside is none of your business actually. Yung ano na may mga negosyo kami, may mga law office kami (That we have a law office business),” he added.
Duterte was irked by the report which claimed that the law firm owned by his family is not registered and some business interests are not disclosed.
He said he did not find it necessary to put other business interests in his Statements of Assets, Liabilities, and Net worth (SALN) because he did not own them personally.
He added that his mother, Soledad, has fed him even when he was Davao City mayor.
“Maski na noong mayor na ako, ang nagpapakain sa akin nanay ko. ‘Yung nanay ko ang may pera (Even when I was mayor, my mother as the one feeding me. My mother had money),” Duterte said.
The President, meanwhile, claimed journalists who wrote the PCIJ report were paid to do so.
“Makita mo ‘yung utak ng mga investigative journalism kaya… Pera-pera lang. Binabayaran ‘yan kung ganun kalaki.(You can see how the minds of investigative journalists work. They just want money. They’re paid huge amounts),” Duterte said.
In its report, the PCIJ discovered that the law firms Carpio & Duterte Lawyers entity, which has presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio and husband Manases as partners, has not registered at all with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) since it was established.
“PCIJ has secured a dozen written certifications from the SEC that the Carpio & Duterte Lawyers and 11 other possible derivative names (i.e. Carpio Duterte Lawyers, Carpio Duerte Law Office, etc.) are not registered entities at all as of this posting,” the PCIJ report read.
Another PCIJ report found that out that he and his children, Sara and resigned Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, have spikes in their wealth during their years in public office
“...The President, Sara, and Paolo have all consistently grown richer over the years, even on the modest salaries they have received for various public posts, and despite the negligible retained earnings reflected in the financial statements of the companies they own or co-own,” the report read.
Duterte, meanwhile, vowed to fulfill his campaign promises of keeping law and order in the country and stopping graft and corruption before his term ends in 2022. (PNA)
Photo from AFP/Inquirer