El Shaddai tells lawmakers: Sign waivers

Posted at 05/31/12 6:52 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The influential El Shaddai broke its silence for the first time ever since the impeachment of Chief Justice Renato Corona, as it urged government officials and lawmakers to sign waivers disclosing their bank deposits for transparency’s sake.

In a report in CBCP News, El Shaddai leader Bro. Mike Velarde said, “(There’s nothing to be afraid of) if there’s nothing to hide. And besides, the purpose of the statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) really is for the public to know what they have.”

The waiver call was made by Chief Justice Renato Corona last week. He was ousted from office on Tuesday for failing to disclose  his true wealth in his SALNs. 

During his trial, Corona signed a waiver to show he was not hiding anything. He said the dollar deposits were not disclosed in his SALNs because of the absolute confidentiality in banking laws.

His defense proved futile, with 20 senator-judges deciding to oust him. Nonetheless, his removal from office prompted other officials and lawmakers to sign bank waivers.

Velarde said that if Corona was only ousted due to his SALN, it is only right that the Aquino administration be strict about it too.

“If Corona was convicted because of his SALN, then the government should really do something about it,” he said.

In Malacañang, Deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said President Aquino should not be forced to sign a waiver at least for now.