By Ralph Villanueva/Manila Times
In the wake of reports raising questions about the alleged wealth and undisclosed businesses of his and his children during their time in office, President Rodrigo Duterte warned the public of “political attacks” from the media ahead of the 2019 mid-term elections next month.
The Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) earlier released a series of reports about the wealth of Duterte and his children, Davao City Mayor Sara
Duterte-Carpio and former Davao City vice mayor Paolo Duterte, saying they all became significantly richer during their time in office.
The reports also accused the family of having undisclosed businesses. In a speech during the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan campaign rally in Bukidnon on Saturday night, the president accused some media men of being paid to attack their clients’ opponents for money. “They accept payment from clients to write political attacks. ACDC (attack and collect money, defend and collect money). You attack to get paid. So, don’t believe that they are clean,” Duterte said in Visayan.
“You protect the rich and hide their secrets, but attack us politicians who genuinely want reform. That’s the truth. You are just being paid,” he added.
Duterte, again, insisted that there were no irregularities in his businesses.
“They said that I have a law office that was unregistered. What is it to them if I don’t have it registered? They didn’t discover that my partner died the week after… having a law office was my back-up plan in the past years in case I lose in the elections. At least if I lose, I would have a sanctuary and a source of income which is my law office,” he said.
“But that’s the only issue that they attacked me with apart from selling motorcycles. If you are a motorcycle rider, you immediately become a businessman because if your motorcycle model grows old, you will want to replace it with a new one. If not, you trade it for a new model and just add money. But those transactions weren’t for profit,” the president added.
Last Saturday, Duterte said his family’s businesses were not a concern of the public.
He also earlier slammed the PCIJ reports as “black propaganda” and those who wrote the reports as “paid hacks.”
“Investigative journalists are attacking me and my children, all about lawyering. What do they care about what happened to my law office? My law office, it was formed with Attorney Fabiosa, the sibling of the basketball player. We formed it in about a month after he died,” Duterte said.
“So, you can see the minds of investigative journalists so… Money talks. They are being paid big. Even my lawyering, even my… motorcycle shop,” he added.
In a tweet last Sunday, the PCIJ said, “Public office is a public trust. How officials comply fully with the laws or don’t, whether they file ‘truthful and complete’ SALN are every citizen’s business.”
Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN), was cited by the PCIJ in its reports. In another speech on Thursday night, Duterte admitted he indeed had money, but he would “hide” it.
“I am rich? I will hide it. Why will I tell you where I put the money? You are all idiots. Maybe I will be robbed. For money, I have money. Stupid,” he said. The president, however, promised that he would explain the alleged wealth “in due time.”
He also slammed the reports as just the opposition’s “trash.”
Earlier, Malacanang dared those criticising Duterte and his wealth to file a case
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