Probe over Duterte's alleged ill-gotten wealth can be revived as termination due to AMLC refusal to provide "vital data": Ombudsman
The investigation against President Rodrigo Duterte's alleged ill-gotten wealth could still be revived, the Office of the Ombudsman said on Thursday.
In a statement, the Ombudsman clarified that the field investigation on the complaints against Duterte and some members of his family was closed and terminated after the Anti-Money Laundering Council "declined to provide a report or confirmation on the requested vital data."
By rule, the anti-graft investigating body said, "a closed and terminated field investigation is without prejudice to the refiling of a complaint with new or additional evidence."
The fact-finding or field investigation of Duterte's and his daughter's, Davao City Vice Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, alleged ill-gotten wealth based on the complaints filed by opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes IV was terminated on Nov. 29, 2017.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Palace was disappointed that the Ombudsman did not immediately disclose the probe had stopped.
Trillanes has also filed a resolution in the Senate seeking an investigation on Duterte's alleged ill-gotten wealth.
While Duterte did not want to meddle in the Senate, Roque said if the investigation would still push through even if the complaints were already terminated by the Ombudsman, "I don't know what evidence they will look into."
Overall Deputy Ombudsman Arthur Carandang, who was tasked to investigate Duterte, was charged administratively and suspended for 90 days following a complaint filed against him for alleged violation of Republic Act of No. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
The Ombudsman explained that in fact-finding investigations, the rules provide it is generally confidential in nature.
"The Office is not obliged to inform the subject of the fact-finding investigation about its outcome. The confidentiality of proceedings was, in fact, recognized by the Solicitor General when he cited the exception that the Ombudsman has the power to publicize certain matters," the Ombudsman said. Celerina Monte/DMS