SENATOR Antonio Trillanes IV said Thursday that he feels vindicated after the Ombudsman confirmed that the documents submitted to them by the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) on the bank accounts of President Rodrigo Duterte are "more or less" the same as the ones he exposed to the public.
But Malacañang warned Overall Deputy Ombudsman Arthur Carandang that he may be subjected to administrative sanctions for making public the bank transactions of the President and his family.
In an interview, Carandang confirmed they received bank transactions coming from AMLC, generated by the council for "intelligence purpose".
When asked if the documents he had received from AMLC were the same as the ones Trillanes had submitted, Carandang said, "More or less, they have the same details."
"This proves not only that my allegations about his billion-peso bank accounts are true, but also that Duterte has fooled a lot of people into believing that he is not corrupt," said Trillanes.
During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trillanes first made the allegation that President Duterte's had at least P2 billion in credits and deposits in numerous bank accounts under his name.
He reiterated the same allegations in February this year.
Duterte, for his part, earlier said he will step down if his critics can confirm that he has P200 million in his bank account.
Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo, however, said Carandang's revelation regarding the purported bank transactions of Duterte and his family was tantamount to a violation of Section 3(f) of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, or Republic Act (RA) 6713.
He cited that under RA 6713, the release of "investigatory records" containing information that could be used for legal proceedings was prohibited.
"We remind Carandang, however, that investigatory records compiled for law enforcement purposes to the extent that the production of such records deprives a person of a right to a fair trial or an impartial adjudication should not be disclosed while the proceedings are ongoing," he added.
Trillanes filed a plunder complaint against Duterte before the Office of the Ombudsman in May 2016.
The senator has repeatedly claimed that the President's bank transactions amounted to P2.4-billion 2006 to 2015 allegedly accumulated from illegal activities.
With Trillanes' plunder case against the Chief Executive, the Ombudsman formally requested the AMLC to obtain Duterte family’s bank records.
Carandang, who was tasked by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales to handle the corruption allegations hurled against the presidential family, revealed that the documents from AMLC were similar to documents presented by Trillanes.
He, however, said the money went in and out of Duterte family's bank accounts.
Amid the investigation, Panelo said Duterte "has nothing to hide."
Panelo said Duterte's bid to resign if his Trillanes validates claim against him only proved that he has been transparent regarding his family’s wealth.
He also appealed to the President's "detractors" not to spread "false news and innuendos against him and his family."
"It is noteworthy to mention that the alleged bank records of the President, assuming for the sake of argument that they are correct, do not necessarily indicate that he is hiding money in the total amount of more than P1 billion and that the same is ill-gotten," Panelo said.
"As stated by news reports, the alleged amount was computed based on ‘in-and-out’ bank transactions of the President’s family through the years. Hence, this does not sufficiently prove that the President has accumulated money in the total amount of more than P1 billion at any given time," he added. (SunStar Philippines)