By Genalyn Kabiling
President Duterte is willing to sign a measure relaxing the country’s bank secrecy law to promote accountability and transparency.
The President said he agreed with the proposed law that would allow the scrutiny of bank accounts, including his bank deposits.
He made the remarks after Senator Antonio Trillanes IV previously challenged him to issue a waiver on his bank account amid allegations of hidden wealth.
“Sabi, ‘Duterte, ilabas mo ‘yung waiver mo na.’ Sabi ko, ‘Bakit kayo? Sino kang p***** i** ka?’ Si Trillanes, sige ka lang yawyaw diyan. Pero ito, may batas ngayon tinitignan ko. Papayag ako sabi ko, well ang note ko, I will sign this proposed law but we have to open our account,” Duterte said during the assembly of mayors at the Manila Hotel Tuesday night.
“We have to open our accounts — i-waiver para makita. Ngayon, payag na ako basta ang batas [I agree as long as it becomes the law],” he added.
The President earlier urged Congress to pass another tax amnesty measure with proper safeguards that include the lifting of bank secrecy for fraud cases.
He made the appeal after he vetoed the grant of general amnesty without lifting bank secrecy for fraud as it could be prone to abuse and lead to tax evasion.
“I ask Congress to pass another general tax amnesty bill that includes the lifting of bank secrecy for fraud cases, the inclusion of automatic exchange of information and safeguards to ensure that asset or net worth declarations are truthful,” he said.
Trillanes, however, has reportedly dismissed as mere lip service the President’s call for reforms on the bank secrecy measure for tax purposes.