Senators: Respect Aquino's privacy

President Benigno Aquino III should not be forced to sign any waiver of the confidentiality of his banks accounts as it will result to an “abuse of his privacy,” two senators said Friday.
 
Senators Sergio Osmena III and Teofisto “TG” Guingona II maintained that even though Aquino is the president, there should be a balance between his right to privacy and duty of transparency.
 
“You’re looking into his love life, into his car life, into his gun life. Pati ba naman bank accounts niya? He has no privacy anymore!” Osmena, chair of the Senate committee on banks, told reporters.
 
“Even in other countries, presidents don’t sign this kind of waiver. Dito lang ito nangyari because of the offshoot of the impeachment trial,” he added.
 
Guingona, on the other hand, said, “It’s up to him (Aquino). It’s his level of privacy.”
 
The two senators defended Aquino after he reportedly said that he no longer needs to sign the waiver since he already gave the Ombudsman authority to look into his wealth through his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth.
 
“I have already signed (in my SALN). If I’d sign again, drama na lang ‘yun,” Aquino said according to an Inquirer report.
 
Moreover, Osmena and Guingona pointed out that the provisions of the Anti-Money Laundering Act are enough to ensure the accountability of public officials.
 
“Public officials should leave their waivers to the courts. They should not tell the world how much they own in their accounts,” Osmena said, noting that disclosing bank accounts to the public would only make officials vulnerable to blackmail and abuse.

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