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Palace on lifestyle check challenge: PNoy not the one on trial

March 5, 2014 12:13pm

(Updated 4:16 p.m.) President Benigno Aquino III is not being accused of amassing unexplained wealth and should not have to undergo a lifestyle check, a Malacañang spokesperson said Wednesday.
 
"Sino ba ang hinahanapan ng paliwanag hinggil sa umano'y maling paggamit ng pondo ng bayan? Di ba sila ang dapat magpaliwanag?" Presidential Communications Operations Office head Herminio Coloma Jr. said in a text message to reporters.
 
Coloma was reacting to Senator Ramon Bong Revilla Jr.'s statement on Tuesday calling for a scrutiny of Aquino and the Cabinet officials' wealth.

In his statement, Revilla said he already authorized the Office of the Ombudsman to look into his material possessions when he filed his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN).

He added that these lifestyle checks should be "expanded" to cover not only those lawmakers being implicated in the pork barrel scam, but also his fellow senators and executive officials.
 
But Coloma said the President's assets have always been declared.
 
"Bukas at hayag ang SALN ng Pangulo at mga miyembro ng Gabinete simula pa noong July 2010 at meron bang humiling ng lifestyle check?" he said.

For his part, presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said Revilla should stop dragging the Executive branch into matters concerning the fund misuse allegations against the senator.
 
"Ang maganda siguro pandayin niya ng husto yung kaso niya. Huwag na siyang mandamay. Stick to case. Answer the issues against him and that's it," Lacierda said during a press conference, alluding to one of Revilla's famous movies, "Panday."

At the same time, Lacierda said a lifestyle check on people who are not part of the pork scam case will not make Revilla more credible or less credible. 
 
"Let's say all of us passed a lifestyle check, will it improve his credibility? It doesn't. It is irrelevant to the issue that surrounds him," he said. "I think the point is, the most important thing is, sagutin na lang niya yung issue di ba." 
 
Revilla made the call after potential state witness Dennis Cunanan dared him and Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Juan Ponce Enrile to undergo lifestyle checks. Revilla, Estrada and Enrile are being implicated in the pork barrel scam allegedly masterminded by Janet Lim-Napoles.
 
Meanwhile, Coloma asked all Filipinos to contemplate on what they are doing on Ash Wednesday.
 
"Mainam na magnilay tayo ngayon hinggil sa paraan ng ating pamumumuhay, ung ito ay nagdudulot ng kabutihan, kung ito ba ay makatotohanan, makatuwiran at makatarungan, at higit sa lahat, kung naaayon ba ito sa kautusan ng Panginoon," he said. Kimberly Jane Tan/RSJ, GMA News




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