While the two presidential candidates are seen as good friends and have nothing but praise for each other, Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago has sided with those calling for Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to sign a waiver allowing the public disclosure of bank records.
“Why shouldn’t he? Definitely, he should. All of us should if asked,” she told reporters on Friday.
Santiago added that she was ready to waive her rights to bank secrecy whenever needed.
“There’s nothing to hide in my bank accounts, I wish there were,” she said.
She has refused to comment further on the controversy until there is conclusive proof:
“We’ll never be able to comment diligently on these events until there is proof.”
The two aspirants have always been public about their high regard for each other, and their friendship has sparked the online hastag #DuRiam. Santiago once described the mayor as one of her “best friends”, while Duterte has openly expressed his respect for Santiago, especially during the last presidential elections when he called her “the only qualified presidential contender.”
The tough talking mayor has allegedly failed to declare a bank account holding P211 million and an apartment in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) last 2014. While he initially denied the existence of the bank account, he later conceded that he has two accounts and that they only contained thousands of pesos, not the millions claimed by Senator Antonio Trillanes IV.
The other presidential candidates, such as administration standard-bearer Mar Roxas II, Senator Grace Poe, and Vice President Jejomar Binay, have already challenged the mayor to sign the waiver that would subject his bank accounts to scrutiny.
Trillanes has challenged Duterte to meet him on Monday outside the BPI branch on Julia Vargas Avenue, Pasig City to personally sign the waiver – and finally clear everybody’s doubts on the issue.