President Rodrigo Duterte would not submit to the jurisdiction of the Office of the Ombudsman over his alleged multi-billion peso bank accounts.
In his speech at the installation of new officers and induction of new members of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) Davao City Chapter on Saturday, Duterte said, "I will not submit jurisdiction to the Ombudsman, okay?"
He also called the agency "lousy."
"...Waving fabricated evidence in front, lying to his teeth, in front of the nation," Duterte said, referring to Overall Deputy Ombudsman Arthur Carandang. "Tapos you want me to submit to the jurisdiction of the Ombudsman?"
"There's a vacuum in the law, impeachment. Who will do the leg work of the investigation? I can do it, because I have the authority to investigate. I am not saying that I will waive," he added.
In response to Duterte, the Office of the Ombudsman reiterated, "The Office has already stated its position: to abide by its constitutional duty. No need to add more."
In his speech, Duterte decried corruption allegations against him, saying that the documents obtained by the anti-graft body were "fabricated."
Duterte earlier threatened to investigate the Office of the Ombudsman for alleged "partiality" and "corruption," following its announcement that it has begun a probe into the wealth of Duterte and his family—after finding Senator Antonio Trillanes IV's complaint to have sufficient basis.
Carandang had said that Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales had authorized him to act on Trillanes' complaint, and that he had requested the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) for a final validation of the bank transaction records of the first family.
Carandang said that initial bank records from the AMLC showed the flow of money through deposits and withdrawals from Duterte's sons, Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte and Sebastian Duterte, and his joint accounts with his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.
Moreover, he said that the accounts of Duterte's common-law wife, Honeylet Avancena, and their daughter, Veronica, were also included in the records.
However, the AMLC denied providing the Ombudsman with documents and information related to the investigation of Duterte's bank accounts.
But it confirmed receiving from Carandang on September 6 a letter dated August 17 requesting an investigation into the subject bank accounts but added that the attachment to the complaint contained "wrong and misleading" amounts.
Amid the Duterte's "probe threat", the Ombudsman said, "Sorry, Mr. President, but this Office shall not be intimidated." —LBG/BM/ALG, GMA News