MANILA, Philippines—The Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) denied releasing information on President Rodrigo Duterte and his family’s bank accounts to Senator Antonio Trillanes IV and the Office of the Ombudsman.
“We have categorically stated before that the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) is not the source of the documents and information attached by Senator Antonio F. Trillanes IV in his Complaint, regarding the alleged bank accounts of President Rodrigo Duterte,” AMLC said in a statement.
“It has neither provided the Office of the Ombudsman with any report as a consequence of any investigation of subject accounts for any purpose,” it added.
Overall Deputy Ombudsman Arthur Carandang said last week that the Office of the Ombudsman has secured a copy of Duterte’s bank records from AMLC, documents that are “more or less” the same with those attached in Trillanes’ complaint.
“We can confirm that we received bank transactions coming from AMLC, generated by AMLC for intelligence purpose,” Carandang said.
Trillanes in April requested to AMLC the same document the Ombudsman said it had but was denied access to it. In spite of this, Trillanes was able to attach to his complaint copies of alleged transactions in Dutertes’ bank accounts.
Carandang claimed earlier that transactions in Duterte family’s bank accounts from 2006 to 2016 amounted to hundreds of millions of pesos, a claim AMLC disputed.
“Suffice it to state that in the attachment to the Complaint, the alleged debits and credits representing outflows and inflows of funds were added together, thus, the resulting total amounts are wrong and misleading,” AMLC said.
AMLC said that it has yet to evaluate the request of Carandang to initiate investigation on subject accounts.
“We have yet to evaluate the request, and the initiation of an investigation, as well as the release of any report on the subject will depend on such evaluation,” the agency said.
Carandang is heading the Ombudsman’s investigation into Dutertes’ wealth, as Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales inhibited from investigating the presidential family due to her ties to one of its members. Carpio-Morales is an aunt to Duterte’s son-in-law, Manases Carpio, husband of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.
Clean up your own backyard
Amidst the investigation of the Ombudsman into Duterte’s wealth, the president warned the former to investigate corruption in its own agency or he will be forced to create a commission that will probe it.
“You have to be investigated also. One of these days, kayo ang sigurado kong hahabulin dahil nga sa partiality ninyo [you are the ones I will hound because of your partiality]. ‘Pag hindi ninyo imbestigahan ang sarili ninyo, ako ang mag-set up ng [If you won’t investigate yourselves, I will set up a] commission to investigate you as a President with investigating powers,” Duterte said.
“Don’t force my hand into it. I will set up a commission to investigate the Ombudsman, the institution itself and all,” he added.
Duterte criticized the alleged bribery in the Ombudsman. He said that there had been occasions where the agency dismissed cases against some government and military officials in exchange of money.