Carpio-Morales says probes vs Duterte to continue
MANILA - The Office of the Ombudsman will push through with its investigation into the allegations of corruption against presumptive president Rodrigo Duterte even after he assumes office on June 30, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales said on Thursday.
Morales said she has inhibited in several probes involving Duterte because of her relationship with the incoming first family.
Morales is the sister of Atty. Lucas Carpio, Jr., husband of Court of Appeals Justice Agnes Reyes Carpio. Agnes and Lucas are the parents of Sara Duterte's husband, Mans Carpio.
"Relationship is not factored in the disposition of cases, or investigation of cases," Morales said.
"I have inhibited from cases involving the Duterte family even before Rodrigo Duterte became the presumptive president."
A source from the Office of Ombudsman said, a total of six complaints have been filed against Duterte in 2016.
Aside from the plunder complaint filed by Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, the Ombudsman Field Investigation Unit has ongoing investigations on three criminal and two administrative cases for Duterte's possible violation of the SALN (Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth) Law.
Although the president has immunity from suit, Morales said, if a complaint has merit, the Office of the Ombudsman "will still continue investigating an impeachable officer only for the purpose of determining whether grave misconduct [was committed]. If affirmative...the Ombudsman will forward its finding to Congress for it to consider initiating impeachment."
Meanwhile, the Ombudsman will be filing graft, malversation and falsification cases against Vice President Jejomar Binay when he loses his immunity on June 30.
The Ombudsman has found probable cause to indict Binay for these offenses over the allegedly overpriced Makati City Hall Building II.
"The resolution that we issued is very clear: when he is stripped off of immunity, we will consider the filing of case," Morales said.
"If the charges are bailable, and he posts bail, he will not be incarcerated. If the charges are non-bailable and the evidence is strong, whether or not he will go to jail will depend on the Sandiganbayan."
Morales said, they are still looking into the plunder aspect of the complaint. Aside from this, the investigating body has an on-going probe on five more plunder complaints against Binay over his alleged corrupt activities when he was Makati City Mayor.