‘None of our business,’ Lorenzana says of Duterte’s wealth
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said President Duterte’s alleged unexplained wealth is “none of our business” even if he mentioned it on Tuesday night’s command conference in Malacañang.
“You know us in the military and police, we consider the matter outside our expertise and therefore, none of our business. We have more serious things to look into,” Lorenzana said when the Inquirer asked how they reacted to the President’s statement.
A ranking military official, who was also present at the military-police command conference in Malacañang, said Mr. Duterte “mentioned in passing” the allegations of unexplained wealth against him, but there was “no discussion” about these.
If at all, Mr. Duterte emphasized the “big sacrifices he made in order to run for President,” the official said.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, the President said he told the military and police at their command conference that he would resign if it was proven that he has unexplained wealth.
Mr. Duterte also said they could all check his bank records with the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC).
Security expert Chester Cabalza said that a commander-in-chief explaining himself is often read as a “defense mechanism.”
“Politically, some defense mechanisms may be for self-perpetuation,” he said.
For Cabalza, however, Mr. Duterte has nothing to fear from the security sector because he continues to have a strong hold over it.
In his press conference last Wednesday, Mr. Duterte also indicated that he wanted Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales impeached. He also wanted to file a new impeachment case against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.
Mr. Duterte accused Morales and Sereno of working with his archcritic, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, who has accused the President of racking up more than P2 billion in bank transactions from 2006 to 2015.