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Carandang: Ombudsman observed confidentiality in Duterte bank accounts probe

Overall Deputy Ombudsman Melchor Arthur Carandang on Monday maintained that the Office of the Ombudsman has observed confidentiality on the probe into President Rodrigo Duterte's bank accounts.



Carandang said the complaint against the President was filed even before the May 2016 elections.

In a statement issued by the Office of the Ombudsman, Carandang was quoted as saying that "he was reading through the documents shown to him by the media during the ambush interview, in response to media's inquiry on the status of the complaint after more than a year after its filing and in stating that a request was made to AMLC (Anti-Money Laundering Council) as part of the investigative process." 

Duterte on Saturday lashed out at Carandang, saying that the documents obtained by the official were fabricated.

"Imagine this Carandang, magdasal ka lang Carandang. I'm not threatening you. 'Pag ka nagka-leche leche ang Pilipinas uunahin kita," Duterte said.

"Sabi ng [AMLC] bakit may nagkuha doon sa loob? Binigay kay Trillanes, binigay kay Carandang. P----- ka Carandang ka, you are holding a fabricated [document], it's up to your sorrow, you will rely to. Kung may kaibigan ka sa loob, pumunta ka na sa Bangko Sentral, tingnan mo na para safety ka," he added.

Duterte even mentioned that he could summon Carandang, accusing the latter of having committed a crime.

The President had also threatened to investigate the Office of the Ombudsman for its alleged partiality and corruption.

This came after the constitutional body has started looking into the First Family's alleged multi-billion peso bank accounts based on the complaint filed by Senator Antonio Trillanes IV.

Carandang had been tasked by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales to act on Trillanes' complaint. He said he had requested the AMLC for a final validation of the bank transaction records of the First Family.

Carandang earlier 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.

Meanwhile, the AMLC had confirmed receiving the request from Carandang, but denied providing him with the documents, noting that the bank accounts in question have "wrong and misleading" amounts.

"We have categorically stated before that the Anti-Money Laundering Council is not the source of the documents and information attached by Senator Antonio F. Trillanes IV in his complaint regarding the alleged bank accounts of President Rodrigo Duterte," the AMLC said in a statement. — RSJ, GMA News