President Rodrigo Duterte and daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, did not deny nor admit the report showing the spike in their wealth, including those of siblings Paolo and Sebastian, through the years while they are in office.
Duterte’s three children are seeking elective posts in the upcoming May elections—Sara as a reelectionist, while her brother, Paolo Duterte as the representative of the first district of Davao City.
Television personality Sebastian, nicknamed “Baste,” is gunning for the vice mayoral post. It’s his first foray into politics.
The Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism released the report on April 4. The agency has been asking the government to respond to its request letters about the findings five months before its publication.
Duterte insisted at a campaign rally in Bacolod City that he will soon explain his wealth, but not yet.
“Well, sabihin ko sa inyo in due time. Mayaman? Taguin ko. Bakit ko sasabihin sa inyo kung saan ko nailagay?” he said in a profanity-laden speech.
The president also dismissed the report as “garbage of the opposition.”
“You know, I’ve been mayor for 23 years, I’ve been a prosecutor for nine years, I’ve been in the practice of law four years before that, and I never lost in an election until the presidency. Pero kung magsabi ninyo… Look at their trash. I do not have transactions in government,” Duterte said.
Meanwhile, Sara, his daughter, argued that her net worth today and her husband’s is no longer the same as it was five or ten years ago. She’s married to lawyer Manases Carpio, whom she established a law firm with.
“Nag-hanapbuhay naman ang asawa ko at ako. And of course, may mga businesses na nandiyan naman lahat iyan sa SALN (Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth) namin,” she said in a campaign rally last April 9.
The net worth of Paolo was also included in PCIJ’s findings. He has yet to react on this information.
What the PCIJ found
The investigative news organization based its report on regular declarations of the Duterte family during their time in government.
The agency looked at the Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth of each of the Dutertes for at least 11 years. It also included the names of their businesses within this period.
The agency compared the net worth of Rodrigo, Sara and Paolo from 2007 to 2017.
Being the longest to have held a government post, Duterte has filed 22 SALNs since 1998.
Duterte’s income surged from P9.69 million to P28.54 million or by 195% within the period of comparison.
Paolo, also known as Polong, first filed his SALN when he was elected as Barangay Captain of Catalunan Grande in the family’s bailiwick of Davao City in 2007.
Since then, his net worth rose by 233% from P8.34 million to P27.74 million.
Sara filed her first SALN when she was elected as vice mayor of Davao City in 2007.
Her net worth made a sharp increase by 518% from P7.25 million to P44.83 million by 2017.
What the PCIJ says
Section 8 of Republic Act 6713 states the responsibility of public officials to submit their disclosures of wealth while in office:
“All public officials and employees, except those who serve in an honorary capacity, laborers and casual or temporary workers, shall file under oath their Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth and a Disclosure of Business Interests and Financial Connections and those of their spouses and unmarried children under eighteen years of age living in their households.”
The PCIJ sent queries to the Dutertes through letters about the surge in their earnings as stated in their SALNs.
“Instead of blaming PCIJ for the report, Mr. Duterte should turn his attention [to] his deputies, notably Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo, for the failure of [the] Office of the President to attend to PCIJ’s request letters, over the last five months,” said PCIJ executive director Malou Mangahas.