MANILA - The Overall Deputy Ombudsman assigned to investigate the wealth of the Duterte family on Monday said the Office of the Ombudsman has observed confidentiality in the investigation on the complaint against President Rodrigo Duterte.
In a statement, Overall Deputy Ombudsman Melchor Arthur Carandang said the complaint was filed even before the May 2016 elections.
He added that he was reading through the documents shown to him by the media during an ambush interview "in response to media’s inquiry on the status of the complaint after more than a year since its filing and in stating that a request was made to [the Anti-Money Laundering Council] as part of the regular investigative process."
Carandang earlier said the Office of the Ombudsman is now looking into the bank transactions of President Duterte and his family, which allegedly amount to hundreds of millions of pesos.
The list of the first family’s bank transactions, which reportedly include those of Duterte during his stint as Davao City mayor, came from the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) and was given to the Ombudsman last year, Carandang said.
The AMLC Secretariat, however, clarified that it has yet to evaluate a Sept. 6 letter from Carandang requesting the financial intelligence unit to start a probe on the President's and his family's bank accounts.
"We have yet to evaluate the request, and the initiation of an investigation as well as the release of any report on the subject will depend on such evaluation," the AMLC said in a statement.
President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said he is not hiding his wealth from the public, adding he can be shot if his wealth turns out to be beyond P40 million.
“It could not be more than P40 million. It is a lifetime saving. Seventy-two [na] ako. I started to work when I was 27. Naging prosecutor ako. Pati kasali ang mga minana kong lupa. You can shoot me. You can overthrow me if you want kapag sumbobra ako doon,” he said.
“I promise you now in front of the soldiers and everybody: I will produce that account at sinasabi ko sa inyo, you can shoot me if it exceeds 40 million (pesos). Lifetime na iyan na savings ko. Hindi sosobra iyan, sigurado,” he added.