Presidential candidate Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. on Monday said he was not inclined to make public his Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth or SALN if elected to the highest position in the country, noting that it could be used by his political enemies against him.
"It depends on what the purposes are for making them public. If the purpose is going to be political attack, why would we want to do that?" Marcos said in an interview with ALC media when asked if he would make his SALN public if he wins the presidential race.
"If that is going to be the purpose for it, some political agenda, I don't see the reason why the SALN should be given," he added.
Marcos cited the case of the late Chief Justice Renato Corona, who was found guilty by the Senate in 2012 of betrayal of public trust and culpable violation of the Constitution for failing to disclose his SALN.
A senator at that time who voted against Corona's conviction, Marcos said the decision on the late justice's case was "political" and not an "objective" one.
"They manipulated the analysis of his SALN to make it look like he was hiding something. Anyone who has any background in business will have understood that it was not the case," he said.
"Lahat ng pulitiko may kalaban. Makakahanap yan, gagawa ng issue yan kahit walang issue. My prime example is Corona," he said.
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Marcos said he would release his SALN when it is required by the court as part of an investigation.
"If there is a case filed, perhaps that's the time that that can be given, maybe not to the public but to the agents of the court or the court itself. I think that may be a workable part of solution," he said.
Under Article XI, Section 17 of the Constitution, a public official or employee is required to submit a declaration of his or her assets, liabilities, and net worth once he or she assumes office.
President Rodrigo Duterte himself has refused to make his SALN public, the last time he did so was in 2017. Malacañang said it would let the Office of the Ombudsman release the President's SALN.
In September 2020, the Ombudsman issued a memorandum which limits access to public officials' SALN to the declarants themselves, to the court, and to investigating agents.