MANILA (UPDATE) - The Office of the President has denied an appeal by a deputy ombudsman to reverse his dismissal on allegations he disclosed alleged bank transactions of President Rodrigo Duterte and his family, a Cabinet official said Monday.
Duterte's office affirmed overall deputy ombudsman Melchor Arthur Carandang's removal from office. Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea signed the decision, said Justice Sec. Menardo Guevarra.
Medialdea said the appeal was denied because Carandang used rehashed arguments in defending his case.
"We carefully considered his explanations but found them to be mere afterthoughts and to be overly reliant on technicalities that do not even apply to administrative cases being heard by the Office of the President," he said.
"We also found his belated attempts to explain his misleading disclosures to the media, which was the basis of the charges against him, to be similarly unpersuasive," he said.
In September 2017, Carandang said the Ombudsman was coordinating with Anti-Money Laundering Council on an investigation into the Duterte family's wealth.
The President's family denied wrongdoing and the dirty money watchdog at that time said it had not released any document to the Ombudsman.