President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday, April 13, claimed some journalists are being paid to produce “false reports” to serve their “clients” while he dismissed reports about the increase of his wealth while in public service.
“They accept (payment) from clients to (write) political attacks. AC/DC (attack and collect, defend and collect). You attack to get paid. So don’t believe that they are clean,” he said during a campaign rally in Bukidnon.
“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,” Duterte added.
The Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) released a report saying the incomes of Duterte, his daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio and son former Davao City vice mayor Paolo Duterte have increased over the years despite getting modest salaries from the government and “negligible” retained earnings from the companies they own or co-own.
The PCIJ had published reports on the wealth of past presidents before. The report it released on the Dutertes’ incomes was based on public records that the family filed themselves.
According to PCIJ, the president’s net worth jumped by 195 percent from P9.69 million in 2007 to P28.54 million in 2017. Meanwhile, Paolo’s net worth rose by 233 percent from P8.34 million to P27.74 million two years ago and Sara’s increased by 518 percent from P7.25 million to P44.83 million.
Duterte, for his part, urged the public to carefully analyze the accusations against him while he gave his explanation about some of the items mentioned in reports about his wealth — which includes a law firm that he allegedly failed to declare in his SALN.
“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 backup 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 explained.
The president also maintained he did not profit from selling motorcycles.
“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,” he said.