WATCH | Duterte bucks Ombudsman probe on his wealth; dares Morales, Sereno to step down with him

October 1, 2017 - 6:58 PM
Rodrigo Duterte speaking emphatically
President speaking during the IBP-Davao event.

(UPDATED) MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Saturday refuted allegations of corruption against him, saying the documents being bandied about by the Office of the Ombudsman pertaining to his bank transactions were falsified.

During the installation of new officers and induction of new members of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) Davao City Chapter, Duterte declined to read from a prepared speech and, instead, told his audience that he would “talk randomly. I want a discussion with you tonight. I do not intend to deliver a speech.”

The President launched into a tirade hammering on the corruption angle: “So there are lies based on baseless hundreds of millions and, even if I wanted to steal, saan kukunin ‘yang [censored curse] (where would I be getting that) amount na ‘yan?

Duterte trained his anger on the supposed bank records being used to back up allegations he had stashed millions of pesos through the years, describing those documents as false and misleading, and adding that the inflow of money from the time he was mayor to the present were just added on top of the other.

“Sabi ko, hindi mag-abot ng 40 million. Go ahead and look at the records. Bank-to-bank yan. Yung sweldo ko, Landbank, eh doon yan papasok … Kayong mga abogado, pakisilip lang (I say, it won’t all exceed PhP40 million. It’s all in there, my salary, at Landbank. All you lawyers, feel free to pry into it),” he said.

The President underscored that falsifying documents is a crime and that no one, not even from the Office of the Ombudsman, is exempt from the law: “Ipatawag ko si Conchita (I will summon Ombudsman Morales). That’s a very poor dimension of looking at things. Pero certainly ito si (this) [Deputy Ombudsman Melchor Arthur] Carandang, I can summon him. Because he committed a crime. Not an administrative one. I’m not trying him, because I’m not a judge. But he has to answer for this, or else, I will go there and bring him to the NBI.”

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Duterte attributed some of the money movements to family matters. “Minsan paghiwalayin ng asawa ko. Nagbili ako ng lupa diyan just beside the Regional Medical Center… I was looking for a small house. That small house now, ibinigay ko na sa cancer patients na mga bata, pediatrics. You check it out. Kayong mga taga-Ombudsman (Sometimes my wife would segregate some. I had acquired a piece of property, a small house, beside the Regional Medical Center. I have given that to the pediatric cancer center. Check it out, you people from the Ombudsman).”

He added, he and his common-law wife are merely working hard to earn a living for his family.

Duterte divulged at one point: “I’ll tell you the secret, ‘yung ice plant. Nobody could operate an ice plant before. You have to get a congressional franchise. If you cannot get a congressional franchise, it’s not your fault. It’s the law. So kung walang ibang franchise diyan, ikaw ‘yung solo ‘yung, ikaw ‘yung source of all the ice ginagamit sa Davao (If there’s no other franchise, you’re the solo operator. You are the source of all the ice for Davao). From ice cold beer to lahat. Part of the bulk of that money is from the ice plant.

“May logging kami, totoo ‘yan. Kaya nga may lumber yard kami … ‘yung mga taga-Davao, baka sabihin niyo pobre talaga … [curses] Kayong taga-Davao, alam man ninyo ‘yan (We also were into logging. That’s why we have a lumber yard. All you Davao folks know this).” (With a report from Philippine News Agency)

He then challenged Morales and Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno to resign with him.

“I challenge the two, we will go to Congress, in a simple ceremony, we sign the letter of resignation. Sige nga [Let’s do it]. Then let us open all the books pati inyo [including your your books].

Click and watch this video snippet of an emotional President Duterte challenging Morales and Sereno to resign along with him.