MANILA, Philippines — Magdalo party-list Rep. Gary Alejano on Wednesday said overall Deputy Ombudsman Melchor Arthur Carandang’s statement regarding the bank transactions of President Rodrigo Duterte had bolstered his earlier claim that the chief executive had billions of pesos of hidden wealth in his bank accounts.
“The statements of Overall Deputy Ombudsman Carandang as reported in the news are very revealing. When asked if the documents he had received from AMLC (Anti-Money Laundering Council) were the same as the ones Senator (Antonio) Trillanes (IV) had submitted, he said that more or less, they have the same details,” Alejano said.
Days before the May 2016 national elections, Trillanes, then a vice presidential bet, filed a plunder complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman against then presidential candidate Duterte, alleging that he had P2.4 billion worth of bank deposits.
Trillanes claimed Duterte could have amassed his alleged hidden wealth from hiring thousands of Davao City ghost employees.
He cited in his complaint the Commission on Audit’s 2015 report that there were 11,246 contractual workers in 2014, who were paid a total of P708 million and assigned to the office of the Davao mayor. The COA raised concern over the absence of documents proving that the said workers were actually performing their jobs.
Trillanes’ docus on Duterte’s alleged wealth ‘more or less’ similar to AMLC records
On Wednesday, Carandang told media that the Ombudsman’s office now has a copy of bank records from the AMLC that “more or less” look like Duterte’s supposed bank transactions attached by Trillanes to the complaint he filed last year.
Alejano said that, “Such admission by…Carandang confirms the allegations I have made in the impeachment complaint. This development has debunked claims that my allegations were mere hearsay.”
Last March, Alejano filed an impeachment complaint against Duterte that was thumbed down by the House Committee on Justice in May.
“I firmly believe that Duterte has billions in his bank accounts and I feel vindicated by this admission,” said Alejano on Wednesday.
“The dismissal of my impeachment complaint against Duterte proved to be a missed opportunity. Sinayang ang subpoena power ng Congress na sana ay nagamit para mapalabas ang katotohonan [Congress’ subpoena power that was supposed to have been used to ferret out the truth was wasted],” the lawmaker said.
“Duterte has all along been hiding his wealth and deceiving the people. Isa-isa na po nating nadidiskubre ang kanyang mga kasinungalingan [We are discovering his lies one by one],” Alejano said.
Alejano to Duterte: Will you sign bank waiver or resign?
“Let me quote Duterte: ‘If Trillanes can prove his allegation that I have amassed ₱2 billion illegally, or if that bank account under my name has a total deposit at one time of even just half a billion, I will resign as President immediately.'”
“Muli, ito ang hamon kay Duterte: Ngayon, may pagkakataon kang patunayan na walang katotohanan ang mga paratang sa iyo. Pirma mo lang sa waiver ang kailangan. Ikaw mismo ang nagsabi na kahit katiting lang na bahid ng korapsyon ay hindi mo kukunsintihin. Make good on your promise of not tolerating corruption,” said Alejano.
[Once more, this is the challenge for Duterte: Now, you have the chance to prove that the allegations against you are not true. Your signature in the bank waiver is the only thing needed. You said yourself that you would not tolerate even a tinge of corruption. Make good on your promise of not tolerating corruption.]
“Ang tanong ngayon ay: Magsa-SIGN ba siya ng waiver o tutuparin niya ang kanyang pangako at magre-RESIGN [The question now is: Will he sign the waiver or will he fulfill his promise and resign]?” he added.
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