Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade on Tuesday denied allegations of undeclared assets hidden in an offshore account, noting that all of his investments have been disclosed in his sworn statement of assets, liabilities, and net worth (SALN) since 2012.
In a statement, Tugade said his family’s investments in Virgin Islands-based firm Solart Holdings Limited was a “legitimate attempt to grow our financial portfolio” and have been disclosed as “offshore investments” in his SALN from 2012 to 2020.
“This is a matter of public record, and the subject offshore investments in Solart Holdings was a personal financial move that was established long before I joined the government,” Tugade said.
The company, he said, was organized back in 2003 to hold a portion of his family’s cash assets.
“We decided to have a portion of our savings invested outside the Philippines, which is valid and legal,” Tugade said.
As an appointed government official, he has taken an oath, he said, to uphold “transparency, honesty, integrity, and good governance.”
“These are cherished values that I personally believe in, and I have made it a lifelong commitment to sustain and carry around myself,” Tugade said.
Tugade said he has nothing to hide, expressing his willingness to answer any accusations or questions in “appropriate forums and manner.”
Earlier, media reports accused Tugade of investing in an offshore company without disclosure in his SALN.The information was collected by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists based on the leaked Pandora Papers, a collection of financial documents of wealthy and powerful individuals around the world.