Ombudsman investigates own deputy over supposed release of Duterte bank records

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 09 2018 01:41 PM | Updated as of May 09 2018 04:34 PM

MANILA (UPDATE) - The Office of the Ombudsman has placed its own deputy chief under investigation over a supposed breach of confidentiality for the alleged release of President Rodrigo Duterte's bank records.

The internal investigation on Overall Deputy Ombudsman Melchor Carandang came after he led the investigation into bank transactions of President Rodrigo Duterte and his family, which allegedly amount to hundreds of millions of pesos.

“Because the President was saying that he breached confidentiality,” Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales told reporters.

Morales emphasized that the investigation, led by the anti-graft body's internal affairs board, is looking into possible administrative sanctions against Carandang.

“Yeah, administrative and also criminal if called for,” Morales said.

Carandang had previously made the assurance that the anti-graft body observed confidentiality in the investigation on the complaint against the President, which he said was filed even before the May 2016 elections. 

The list of the first family’s bank transactions, which reportedly include those of Duterte during his time as Davao City mayor, came from the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) and was given to the Ombudsman last year, Carandang had said.

The investigation into the President's wealth ended on Nov. 29, 2017, the anti-graft body said, noting that the AMLC declined to provide “a report or confirmation on the requested vital data.”

Last January 29, Malacañang ordered Carandang's preventive suspension as an investigation was underway into the grave misconduct and grave dishonesty charges against him for the supposed illegal disclosure of the Duterte family’s bank transactions.

The anti-graft body, however, defied the Palace's order.

“I did not implement the order,” Morales said.

-- with a report from Adrian Ayalin and Joyce Balancio, ABS-CBN News