Palace to Trillanes: Ombudsman can open Duterte bank accounts

MANILA -- The Ombudsman has the power to open the bank accounts of President Rodrigo R. Duterte even without the permission of the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC), MalacaAang said.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made this remark following claims of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV that the Ombudsman junked the investigation into Duterte's alleged ill-gotten wealth because the ALMC refused to cooperate.

Roque pointed out that during the impeachment of late Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona in 2011, the Ombudsman opened the latter's bank accounts.

Ang Ombudsman may kapangyarihan buksan ang lahat ng bank accounts. 'Wag natin kalimutan ng panahon ng impeachment ni Chief Justice (Renato) Corona, wala naman humingi sa Ombudsman, Ombudsman mismo ang nagbukas ng accounts (The Ombudsman has the power to open all bank accounts. Let's not forget that during the impeachment of former Chief Justice Coronoma, nobody had to ask the Ombudsman, the Ombudsman itself opened the accounts), Roque said in a press conference at the Quirino Grandstand in Rizal Park, Manila on Friday.

Roque added that the Ombudsman could have even opened Duterte's bank accounts already.

So kung gugustuhin po, nagawa na rin po siguro, nakita na po siguro yan ng Ombudsman kung ano ang bank accounts ni Presidente Duterte (So if the Ombudsman wanted, or the Ombudsman could have probably checked President Duterte's bank accounts already), he added.

Roque, meanwhile, urged Trillanes anew to stop reviving the issue since it had long been dead.

Disappointed

Roque earlier said the Palace was disappointed by how Ombudsman did not immediately disclose that it had junked the probe into Duterte's alleged ill-gotten wealth.

It may be recalled that Overall Deputy Ombudsman Melchor Arthur Carandang confirmed in a letter dated Feb. 12 that the probe was already terminated on November 29, 2017.

Medyo masama ang loob ng Palasyo (The Palace is slightly disappointed). Na-terminate na pala ang imbestigasyon (The investigation was already terminated) because of lack of evidence bakit di inanunsyo (why wasn't it announced)? Roque said.

Source: Philippine News Agency