Gordon: House, not Senate, should probe Duterte’s wealth
Sen. Richard Gordon believes that the issue of President Rodrigo Duterte’s alleged ill-gotten wealth should be investigated – not by the Senate but by the House of Representatives through an impeachment proceeding.
Gordon is chair of the Senate blue ribbon committee, the primary body tasked to look into possible violations of the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA) by no less than the President and his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.
The probe was initiated by Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, an opposition member, after recent reports that the father and daughter allegedly had combined deposits and investments worth more than P100 million at the Bank of the Philippine Islands.
But taking the floor on Tuesday, Gordon said the issue should either be investigated by the House or the Office of the Ombudsman.
“If a citizen and here a senator feels that the President must be investigated, the proper jurisdiction is lodged in the House of Representatives, Mr. President. They are the ones who must determine possible violations of the AMLA by the chief executive,” he said.
“The national endpoint of an investigation into the acts of the President is an impeachment proceeding, which if successful, will go into a full-blown trial before the Senate acting as an impeachment court,” he added.
If the Senate would push through with the probe, he said, any statement that would be made in a hearing might be construed as prejudgment of a possible impeachment trial.
Gordon said the issue could also be brought before the Ombudsman, who may also recommend the filing of an impeachment complaint against the President.
“So think that it would really affect not only our relationship but our working here in the Congress if we look into this case because I think ultimately the logical conclusion would be impeachment,” he said.
Senate Majority Leader Vicente “Tito” Sotto III later moved to refer the issue before the Senate Committee on Rules, which he chairs.