‘More or less’ true

Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro - - Front Page -

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 pur­poses”.

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.

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