TARLAC City – Consistent with her advocacy for transparency and accountability, presidential aspirant Senator Grace Poe on Monday signed a bank secrecy waiver amid allegations that rival Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has undeclared Php211 million bank deposits.
”Nag-sign na ako ng waiver. Yung waiver ko nakasulat doon na bilang isang nagtutulak ng Freedom of Information, ako ay suportado dito. Dapat ipakita iyon. Lalong lalo na sa incumbency ko bilang isang public servant,” Poe said in an ambush media interview after a political rally at the Tarlac Convention Center here.
Poe, chairperson of the Senate committee on public information and mass media, said the waiver can be used if the Ombudsman will order to open her bank accounts.
”Consistent with this advocacy for transparency and accountability, I hereby authorize the Ombudsman, to look into my bank accounts, if she finds just cause; thereby waiving my right of confidentiality under the bank secrecy law in favor of the Ombudsman, for the duration of my candidacy for President,” Poe stated in her waiver.
Poe said the waiver “shall cover the years of my incumbency as a public servant of the Republic of the Philippines.”
If she fails to win the May 9 presidential election, Poe would still have three years left in her first term as senator.
Poe signed the waiver of bank secrecy after Duterte challenged his opponents in the presidential race to sign first their respective waiver.
Senator Antonio Trillanes IV on Monday went to the Bank of the Philippine Island (BPI) Julia Vargas branch in Pasig City to challenge Duterte to sign bank secrecy waiver.
However, Duterte was no show and instead sent his lawyer Salvador Panelo who brought an SPA (special power of attorney) authorizing him to ask the BPI to ask for certification to belie Trillanes’ claims that the Davao City mayor has Php211 million bank deposits that Duterte did not declare in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) in 2014.
Poe said Duterte’s refusal to sign waiver to allow the opening of the latter’s bank accounts and transactions may be an indication that the alleged Php211 million bank deposits are true.
”Syempre, and dating sa tao ‘non nagpapalusot,” Poe said.
Poe also expressed concerns over Duterte’s sudden change of statements when the Davao City mayor denied the bank accounts but eventually admitted it after a netizen successfully deposited money in his bank account.
”Nakakabahala rin na magkaroon ng isang lider na magbibitiw ng isang salitang napakahalaga katulad ng ‘yung disclosure nga, na sila ay magpapakita, tapos sila rin ang babawi. Sa ating mga kababayan, isipin naman din nating mabuti, gusto natin talaga ng pagbabago pero sino ba talaga ang may tunay na pagbabago dahil ito’y gawain rin ng mga matatagal na sa pulitika e. Alam na nila paikutin ang sistema,” Poe said.
Meanwhile, Poe said she would sign a covenant for truthful and honest elections that the national candidates signed on Monday after hearing Mass at the Manila Cathedral.
”Of course, of course, I will sign that covenant. From the very beginning I’m for unity, I’m for peace, especially when it comes to our elections,” Poe said.
Presidential candidates Mar Roxas and Jejomar Binay joined other national candidates, including those seeking the Senate seats, signed on Monday the ‘truth’ covenant.
Poe explained that she was not able to attend the Mass because she was informed that the signing of the covenant would be held on May 4. PNA/northboundasia.com