MANILA — Two lawyers on Tuesday filed administrative complaints against Overall Deputy Ombudsman Melchor Arthur Carandang and Deputy Ombudsman for Mindanao Rodolfo Elman before the Office of the President in Malacañang.
Lawyers Manuelito Luna and Eligio Mallari filed graft and corruption and betrayal of public trust charges against Carandang and Elman and sought their dismissal.
In their complaint, the two lawyers alleged that Carandang was “guilty of graft and corruption for causing undue injury to any party, including the government, or giving any private party any unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge of his official administrative or judicial functions through manifest partiality, and for divulging valuable information of a confidential character, acquired by his office or by him on account of his official position to unauthorized persons.”
They said the Overall Deputy Ombudsman is also guilty of betrayal of public trust for falsely and maliciously claiming that the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) had issued a report regarding the alleged account deposits of President Rodrigo Duterte and for disclosing the details of Duterte’s bank records, which allegedly came from the AMLC, during an interview with ABS-CBN anchor Henry Omaga Diaz.
The complainants also alleged that Carandang not only violated Republic Act (RA) No. 1405 or the Bank Secrecy Law and all the laws proscribing disclosure of confidential information and secrets, as well as details relative to the fact-finding, but also grossly misrepresented the facts, if not indulged in misinformation calculated to undermine the integrity of the AMLC and bring about the weakening of the institution of the Presidency.
“His disclosure of the inflows and outflows of funds, amounts of the account deposits, nature of the bank deposits, depositors’ names and other details are not benign, but are calculated to destabilize the economy, if not the entire Government,” the complainants said.
Luna and Mallari also accused Carandang of prejudice for allegedly siding blindly with Senator Antonio Trillanes IV and for being biased against the President.
Meanwhile, the complainants said that the Deputy Ombudsman for Mindanao is equally liable for graft and corruption or betrayal of public trust as Carandang for conspiring with the latter.
They alleged that Elman has played a silent but active role in the shenanigans of Carandang.
“He played a low key but pivotal role in the whole mess as Carandang would not have been able to gain full access to the bank records and documents illegally being kept by the Field Investigation Unit under the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for Mindanao. In fact, he (Elman) was the one who asked the latter (Carandang) to request the AMLC to conduct an inquiry on the subject accounts; and transactions related thereto,” the complainants said.
Members of the fact-finding investigating unit assigned on the case were also charged with “gross misconduct” for possession of bank documents and records.
The Ombudsman had earlier said it was investigating the alleged unexplained wealth of Duterte.
Ombudsman Chairman Conchita Carpio-Morales has delegated Carandang to handle the cases involving the President’s family after inhibiting herself from acting on any case filed against Duterte and his family.
The President’s daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, is married to Morales’ nephew, lawyer Manases Carpio.