President Aquino has challenged Chief Justice Corona to voluntarily open up his (Corona’s) alleged dollar accounts. But if you dare the other, why not start with your own self first?
The President can be the first to open up his own accounts, SALNs and ITRs. Then he can order the entire Executive Department to do likewise starting with his cabinet members—some of whom are already eyeing the 2013 elections. After all, transparency is his crown (“corona”) mantra of governance.
Here, we can also check on former Naga City Mayor and now DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo’s accounts vis-à-vis his SALNs and ITRs during his 18 years as mayor as well as his present stint in the DILG. Remember, the Commission on Audit had revealed a lot of irregularities in his administration then like unliquidated cash advances.
For example, for the year ending December 31, 2009, the COA found again that:
“Additional cash advances amounting to P3,657,365.61 were granted during the year although previous cash advances were not yet settled or proper accounting thereof were made and cash advances totaling P5,355,418.91 were not liquidated within the prescribed period resulting to the accumulation of unliquidated cash advances totaling to P8,118,457.54 as of December 31, 2009. These are contrary to Sections 4.1.2 and 5.1 of COA Circular No. 97-002 dated February 10, 1997, respectively.” (See ttp://www.coa.gov.ph/Audit/AAR.htm)
"Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her." (Jn. 8:7)
It is fair, then, for President Aquino to equally challenge the impeachment prosecutors led by Congressman Tupas and all members of Congress to likewise publicly disclose their respective SALNs and ITRs and all their peso and dollar accounts. For sure, as they have repeatedly pounded against Corona, they must disclose with no hesitation whatsoever if they have nothing to hide.
Significantly, we can verify if Tupas could actually afford his reported P50 million peso mansion being built in Xavierville, Quezon City. As a congressman, his salary is about P25 thousand a month only.
Add to this each congressman’s personal wealth vis-à-vis his pork barrel.
President Aquino should equally call on all the senators who will stand in judgment of the Chief Justice to publicly disclose their respective peso and dollar accounts, SALNs and ITRs, including that of their families and dependents. After all, the power to determine public accountability has been vested in them as they sit as the impeachment court; they must be the first models of keeping the public trust.
Verily, this could be a blessing in disguise for us Sovereign Filipino People to at last check on the Marcos ill-gotten wealth given that one of the senators now is Senator Bongbong Marcos. Remember, not one of the Marcoses has ever been convicted and sent to prison despite the plunder of the Nation’s coffers during the dark days of the Marcos Dictatorship.
“The ball is in your hands,” Mr. President.