SENATOR and boxing legend Emmanuel “Manny” D. Pacquiao, Sr. on Wednesday said all government officials must disclose their net worth if he becomes president.
Officials and their immediately family members must waive their right to bank secrecy, the presidential aspirant said in a statement.
Mr. Pacquiao said public officials’ statement of assets, liabilities and net worth would be published, excluding private details.
“I am not the only one who will sign the waiver for bank secrecy,” he said in mixed English and Filipino. “Even my members in the government will be asked to sign the waiver before they can be appointed.”
“As public servants, we should be transparent and accountable,” he added.
President Rodrigo R. Duterte last disclosed his net worth in 2017, at P28.5 million. He has not disclosed his net worth despite his vow of transparency, the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism reported in 2020.
Since the law requiring public officials to disclose their net worth was enacted in 1989, all five presidents before Mr. Duterte had disclosed their worth year on year without fail, it said.
Mr. Pacquiao declared a net worth of P3.19 billion for 2020.
The boxing champ vowed to adopt a zero-tolerance policy on corruption. Government officials must regularly undergo a performance audit, he said.
He said his first executive action if elected is to issue an order creating a mega prison what will house corrupt officials. The prison will have its own hospital and a small hut to ensure no escape for those approved for hospital and house arrest.
“We have seen how they were able to manipulate the justice system so that they can still live comfortably and easily,” Mr. Pacquiao said.
Former leaders can’t use wheelchairs as props to fake an illness, he added, alluding to ex-President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, whom critics have cited for her sympathy play. “All of that will be gone with our Mega Prison because it is already complete.”
Ms. Arroyo walked away from her plunder charge in July 2016 after the Supreme Court acquitted her, after almost four years under hospital arrest. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan