Malacañang on Thursday said Vice President Jejomar Binay’s Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) may disprove allegations that the latter had amassed ill-gotten wealth.
In a news conference, Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. reiterated the importance of the disclosure of government officials’ SALN as an avenue for transparency in government.
He said while the Palace hopes the officials’ SALNs will be made readily available, the law of the land will prevail in the end.
Coloma’s statements came after former Makati City Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado alleged that the Vice President owns a 350-hectare “hacienda” in Rosario town in Batangas province that he estimated to cost P1.2 billion.
Mercado said Binay used dummies to hide his wealth.
He had presented aerial photos of the alleged estate on which sit three mansions, a pavilion and an air-conditioned piggery.
Mercado’s move prompted the Senate blue ribbon sub-committee headed by Sen. Aquilino Pimentel 3rd to reiterate its invitation to the Vice President to attend its investigation.
Malacañang again denied that it is behind the probe even if a member of the Cabinet has provided assistance to senators investigating the matter.
Administration Sen. Antonio Trillanes 4th showed to the public pictures of him and Agrarian Reform Secretary Gil delos Reyes checking the vast farm that is supposedly owned by the Binay family in Rosario during a Senate hearing on the issue.
“Like you [media], this is the first time we are looking at the video presentation of [Mercado],” Palace spokesman Edwin Lacierda said.
“We can say categorically that we are not involved in any way [in it],” he added.
Lacierda rejected insinuations that Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas 2nd, Binay’s possible rival in the 2016 presidential elections, is involved in pinning down the Vice President on the ill-gotten wealth issue.