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MARCH 16, 2016

NR # 4141C

Speaker Belmonte calls presidential bets to a transparency challenge -disclose their health and financial records
Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. today called on all presidential candidates to
demonstrate their sense of transparency by disclosing their health and financial status to
the public.
The Speaker likened the presidency to applying for a job which you must be fully
fit for. In this case you are an applicant for a valued and critical position. Your employer
is the Taongbayan and to get the job you ought to prove you are fully qualified with your
credentials. And since this is a top managerial position, your leadership experience and
background and also if you are physically fit for this 24/7 job, enough to lead for six
years, Belmonte said.
Disclosing their health records will show if they are physically, mentally,
emotionally and psychologically fit to become president. Meanwhile, disclosing their
financial status would show their actual assets, net worth, and business interests, and ease
any public suspicion of illegal wealth, the Speaker said, adding that these are facts that
actually put negative allegations to rest.
The Speaker said evading issues pertaining to ones health and financial condition
only makes the public doubtful about the integrity of a candidate.
Hence, accepting the transparency challenge means that a candidate has nothing to
hide nor fear because he or she is healthy and that his or her wealth or financial assets are
unquestionable, said Belmonte.
Belmonte said a candidate must be fit enough to overcome the stress resulting from
the daily work challenges and activities of a president which among others involves
traveling and late hours. So this early, all presidential candidates must be forthright
enough in disclosing the true status of their health. If not, then they are doing the public a
disservice. It is also doubtful that an unhealthy candidate can even withstand the rigors of
the remaining weeks of the campaign. said Belmonte.
As to a candidates financial disclosure, Belmonte said this is not just a must in
government service but necessary in helping the public determine if a candidate has
illegally enriched himself or herself especially in public office. We should be wary of a
candidate or candidates with illegal wealth because the drive to acquire more of this could
continue if the presidency is won, said the Speaker.
Belmonte also reminded the candidates, who have been government officials, to
file and disclose their Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Networth (SALN) to the public

as part of their commitment to transparency and in fulfillment of their constitutional duty


on accountability.
We call on our presidential candidates not to overlook this as it is the duty of
everyone working in the government to disclose their assets, liabilities, business interest
and financial connections as provided for in Article XI, Section 17 of the Constitution
pertaining to Accountability of Public Officers, Belmonte said.
He added that The President stands for each and all of us and represents us even
internationally. We want him healthy, untainted by corruption allegations and ideally free
from vices or doubts in terms of his personal integrity. It puts mudslinging to rest and
takes this campaign to a higher ground. (30) rbb

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