The new cause-oriented group Tindig Pilipinas would leave no stone unturned in the investigation of President Rodrigo Duterte’s alleged undeclared wealth as “integrity demands it.”
Tindig Pilipinas has released a statement yesterday, urging Duterte to sign bank secrecy waivers that will allow the Office of the Ombudsman to scrutinize his bank accounts. Otherwise, the president should resign if he refuses to sign, Tindig Pilipinas said.
Expressing an utmost alarm, the group cited the Ombudsman’s announcement that it received several documents of bank records from Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) which states that Duterte and his family has billions in the bank. According to Overall Deputy Ombudsman Arthur Carandang, the documents look “more or less” like those submitted by Duterte’s staunch critic, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV.
Moreover, the group criticized Duterte’s character, stressing that they will not allow the administration to create a “counter crisis to distract people who are seeking answers.”
“He cannot just laugh this off, dissemble yet again, contradict himself as if this is an acceptable quirk of his character,” Tindig Pilipinas said.
The group also expressed doubts over Duterte’s statement that his wealth came from a “sizeable inheritance.”
“The question is very simple: where did these billions come from? Then candidate Duterte painted himself as a poor man who built his fortune on his decades as a salaried civil servant. Yet, even assuming we would accept his revised story that his parents gave him a sizeable inheritance, that cannot, by any stretch of the imagination, explain the billions,” Tindig Pilipinas said.
Earlier, Duterte stated that he and his family became millionaires through an inherited wealth from their father, former Davao Governor Vicente Duterte, that was divided among siblings.
“We all know where the fortunes of public officials with no known livelihood come from – corruption, smuggling, crime syndicates and drugs. Tell us, President Duterte, if it is none of these, then what is it?” Tindig Pilipinas said.
“You ran on a platform of anti-corruption, anti-crime, and anti-drugs. Now you need to explain in a clear, detailed and unequivocal way what the sources of your wealth are, when you earned which amounts and where the amounts are now,” it added.
The group emphasized that complete transparency is the only approach that will end doubts on his and his family’s wealth.
Meanwhile, the Palace said that the president respects the processes of the Ombudsman in investigating his wealth.
“The President respects the internal processes of the [Office of the Ombudsman] as an independent body and trusts its impartiality in the conduct of its fact-finding duty,” presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said.