Medialdea downplays criticisms over investigative report on Duterte family wealth

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 8) — Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea downplayed criticisms raised over an investigative report on President Rodrigo Duterte's family wealth.

In a statement Monday, Medialdea argued that the presidential family members' Statements of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth that were used by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism in its reports were submitted years prior to Duterte's term as chief executive.

"The SALNs covered by their request have been submitted years before (Duterte) became President and are not in the possession of OP (Office of the President)," Medialdea said.

The series of reports conducted by the PCIJ found the President, his daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, and former Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte had submitted "token or opaque data" on their business interests which they are required to reveal in their SALNs.

READ: Duterte slams investigative journalists for probe into family's wealth: 'Pera-pera lang 'yan'

The reports likewise found that Sara Duterte-Carpio's law firm with her husband Atty. Mans Carpio was not registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission despite being in business for 10 years.

The PCIJ added the three Dutertes saw "spikes" in wealth while in public office.

Medialdea, however, noted how critics and detractors have been "nitpicking" on the President's SALN.

"They have tried to make an issue out of even the minutest detail in hopes to pin the President for some wrongdoing but to their dismay their efforts had all failed," the Executive Secretary said.

"The President remains committed to his cause to eradicate corruption and rid of the govt of corrupt officials."

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, on the other hand, insisted the Duterte family has "properly" declared their assets.

"Kung hindi niya dineclare (if he did not declare), that's the time na (that) he should be explaining and (he) should be prosecuted for not putting that in the SALN. He already explained it. He said whatever money he has, it came from his mother," Panelo said in his media briefing Monday.

"What is prohibited is when you do not declare your assets. But he has declared them, so what is the hulabaloo?" he added.

Panelo added the Duterte family members also have businesses, which have contributed to their wealth over the years.

CNN Philippines' Ina Andolong contributed to this report.