'Move on,' Palace tells Trillanes amid push to probe alleged Duterte wealth

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 16 2018 04:46 PM

MANILA - Malacañang on Friday told Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV to “move on” as the fierce administration critic showed no signs of giving up in his push to investigate President Rodrigo Duterte's alleged hidden wealth.

“Humahanga ako kay Trillanes dahil walang kapaguran. Gasgas na ito. Move on,” Roque told reporters.

Trillanes on Friday said he would seek an investigation into the Anti-Money Laundering Council’s (AMLC) alleged refusal to cooperate in the Office of the Ombudsman’s investigation into the President’s alleged wealth.

The Ombudsman last year opened an investigation into bank transactions of Duterte and his family in connection with Trillanes’ allegations that the chief executive kept hidden wealth.

The anti-graft body cited the AMLC's supposed refusal to cooperate in the investigation as the reason for the termination of the probe on Nov. 29, 2017.

Overall Deputy Ombudsman Arthur Carandang had said the anti-graft office secured Duterte’s bank records from the AMLC. The AMLC later denied supplying such documents. 

The Ombudsman's investigation had courted an administrative case for Carandang, against whom the Palace filed grave misconduct charges for the supposed illegal disclosure of the President's and his family’s bank transactions. 

He was also suspended, but Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales defied the Palace's order saying it was a breach of her office's independence. 

Trillanes earlier alleged that Duterte had employed about 11,000 ghost employees as Davao City mayor and that he kept P2.4 billion in earnings from this racket in several bank accounts from 2006 to 2015.

The senator earlier asked the Senate committee on banks, financial institutions and currencies to conduct an inquiry into the bank accounts of the President and his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.

In Senate Resolution No. 602 filed last Feb. 5, Trillanes urged the committee to look into violations the Dutertes may have committed against the Anti-Money Laundering Act. 

Trillanes cited bank documents in a VERA Files report showing the President and his daughter's alleged wealth, which were supposedly not fully disclosed in their Statements of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth.

The bank documents, he added, allegedly showed their undisclosed transactions exceeding P500,000.

Earlier this week, Solicitor General Jose Calida said the Senate should no longer investigate the Dutertes as it would only be a "waste of time" in light of the Ombudsman's termination of its inquiry.