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Panelo warns Ombudsman on disclosing Duterte bank records

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Panelo warns Ombudsman on disclosing Duterte bank records

/ 05:59 PM September 28, 2017

Presidential chief legal counsel Salvador Panelo. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / RICHARD A. REYES

The investigation launched by the Office of the Ombudsman into the wealth of the Duterte family does not bother the President, his chief legal counsel said Thursday.

But Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo warned the Ombudsman on disclosing the alleged bank records of Duterte obtained from Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC).

Panelo questioned the move of Overall Deputy Ombudsman Arthur Carandang for disclosing that bank records of Duterte and his family through the years had amounted to more than P1 billion.

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“We remind Carandang, however, that investigatory records complied for law enforcement purposes to the extent that the production of such records deprives a person of a right to a fair trial or an impartial adjudication should not be disclosed while the proceedings are ongoing,” Panelo said.

He cited Section 3 (f) of the Rules Implementing the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Official and Employees (Republic Act No. 6713), which prohibits the disclosure.

“Lest ODO Carandang forgets, violation of the foregoing provision may subject the offender to administrative sanctions,” he said.

Despite the Ombudsman’s probe, Panelo said the President was “not perturbed by the baseless assertions of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV.”

“The President is already used to persistent tirades of his detractors, most especially Senator Trillanes, who has been attacking him and his family since the 2016 National Elections,” he said.

Trillanes, he said, “has not, as he could not, present sufficient evidence to prove his claims against the President.”

“It is noteworthy to mention that the alleged bank records of the President, assuming for the sake of argument that they are correct, do not necessarily indicate that he is hiding money in the total amount of more that P1 billion, and that the same is ill-gotten,” he said.

Panelo reiterated Duterte’s oft-repeated line that he would resign if his hidden wealth was proven.

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“In any event, the President is clear that he will resign if it is proven that he has such amount of hidden wealth. Such confidence only goes to show that the President has nothing to hide,” he said.

“The President has been challenging his detractors to prove their accusation and not to use media to spread false news and innuendos against him and his family,” he added.

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TAGS: Ombudsman, Philippine news updates, President Duterte, Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo
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