Beverly Natividad, News5 | InterAksyon | September 28, 2017, 11:08 PM
(UPDATED – 11:24 p.m.) MANILA, Philippines — The Anti-Money Laundering Council on Thursday denied that it had released President Rodrigo Duterte and his family’s bank records to the Office of the Ombudsman.
AMLC said that while overall Deputy Ombudsman Melchor Arthur Carandang had requested the agency through a Sept. 6 letter to look into the bank records of the the first family, the council said that, “We have yet to evaluate the request, and the initiation of an investigation as well as the release of any report on the subject will depend on such evaluation.”
Recently Carandang said the Ombudsman’s office had secured from the AMLC copies of Duterte and his family’s bank transaction records. He also said that based on documents from the AMLC, the President and his relatives’ bank transactions through the years amounted to over P1 billion.
Moreover, the ombudsman said the documents that Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV had attached to his May 2016 plunder complaint against Duterte were roughly similar to the AMLC’s records.
In its statement on Thursday, AMLC also reiterated that the council “is not the source of the documents and information attached by” Trillanes IV in his complaint against Duterte.
“It has neither provided the Office of the Ombudsman with any report as a consequence of any investigation of subject accounts for any purpose,” AMLC added.
Days before last year’s national elections, Trillanes, then a vice presidential bet, filed a plunder complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman against then presidential candidate Duterte, alleging that he had P2.4 billion worth of bank transactions.
Trillanes claimed Duterte could have amassed his alleged hidden wealth from hiring thousands of Davao City ghost employees.
He cited in his complaint the Commission on Audit’s 2015 report that there were 11,246 contractual workers in 2014, who were paid a total of P708 million and assigned to the office of the Davao mayor. The COA raised concern over the absence of documents proving that the said workers were actually performing their jobs.
But on Thursday, the AMLC said that Trillanes’ allegations about Duterte’s supposed total bank transactions, which the senator attached in his 2016 complaint, were erroneous.
“Suffice it to state that in the attachment to the complaint, the alleged debits and credits representing outflows and inflows of funds were added together, thus, the resulting total amounts are wrong and misleading,” the council said.