Duterte: I won’t submit to Ombudsman’s authority in wealth probe

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President Rodrigo Duterte. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 1) — The President will not cooperate in the Ombudsman’s investigation into his alleged ₱211 million wealth, saying it's based on "falsified" documents.

Speaking to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) in Davao City Saturday, President Rodrigo Duterte slammed Overall Deputy Ombudsman Arthur Carandang who had earlier confirmed the probe.

“I will not submit jurisdiction to the Ombudsman, okay?” Duterte said.

He then added, “Pero certainly ito si Carandang, I can summon him. Because he committed a crime. Not an administrative one. I'm not trying him, because I'm not a judge. But he has to answer for this, or else, I will go there and bring him to the NBI (National Bureau of Investigation).”

Duterte also challenged Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales and Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno to resign with him, accusing the two women of corruption.

“I now challenge Carpio to resign with me at itong si Supreme Court Justice. Sige nga, ikaw, may kaso. Morales, unahin mo ‘yung mga kaso noong nai-file nang matagal na. You are in on a selective justice... Bakit nauna 'yung sa amin na hindi pa totoo?” the President demanded

[Translation: I now challenge Carpio to resign with me and Supreme Court Justice. You have cases. Morales, prioritize cases in your backlog. You are in on selective justice. Why are you prioritizing our case, which isn’t even true?]

Duterte accused the chief magistrate of excluding her fee as government counsel in the case against the  Philippine International Air Terminals Co. Inc. in her Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN).

He said the military and police are aware of Sereno’s corruption.

Alam ng Armed Forces at police na corrupt ito si Sereno. Alam ng Armed Forces kasi ‘yung mga pulis na dinemanda nila doon, ako ang nagbigay ng pera. Hinihingi ko ‘yan sa mga kaibigan ko, 'YTulungan ninyo ito kasi hinihingian ng mga Ombudsman investigator,'" he explained..

[Translation: The Armed Forces and police know Sereno is corrupt. The Armed Forces know because the police they filed cases against before, I gave them money. I asked my friends for that money, saying “Help them, because the Ombudsman investigator is asking for money.”]

The President’s comments came after Carandang confirmed they had Duterte's bank records and were investigating the family's wealth in response to a plunder complaint filed by Senator Sonny Trillanes during the 2016 electoral  campaign.

Carandang claimed Duterte’s bank records came from the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC).

Read more: Palace: Duterte unfazed by Ombudsman's probe on wealth

However, the AMLC denied releasing any documents.

From ₱500K to ₱40M

The President also changed his previous statement that he only had about ₱500,000 in his bank accounts.

Lahat ng sweldo ko pagka-mayor until now, dumidiretso diyan sa specific account na ‘yan. Kaya sabi ko, hindi mag-abot ng ₱40 million. Go ahead and look at the records,” he said.

[Translation: My salaries since I was mayor up to now go straight to that specific account. I told them, it won’t reach ₱40 million. Go ahead and look at the records.]

In his latest SALN, Duterte declared a net worth of ₱27.42 million as of December 2016: with assets of ₱28.43 million, and "cash on hand and in bank" of ₱18.54 million.

In the same forum, Duterte slammed IBP President Abdiel Fajardo’s comment that public officials should not be onion-skinned when they are being probed by independent bodies.

“Onion-skinned? Onion-skinned lahat kaya, including my grandchildren. Ipa-onion-skin mo for a fabricated hundreds of billions. It's to your sorrow. And I hope to meet you one day. Kung hindi, ipakain ko 'yang papel sa inyo [If not, I’ll shove the documents down your throat],” he said.

Earlier, Duterte also said that he planned to create a commission to investigate the “partiality” of the Office of the Ombudsman.

Ombudsman Morales had since inhibited from probes into the first family’s wealth, as her nephew, Mans Carpio,  is the husband of Davao City Mayor and daughter of the President Sara Duterte.