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Palace, Solgen drub Trillanes probe bid

The government’s chief lawyer and the Palace scoffed at Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV’s effort to convince the Senate to still conduct a probe on allegations against President Duterte despite the Ombudsman’s termination of the investigation on the same charges when Mr. Duterte was mayor of Davao City.
Trillanes yesterday urged the Senate committee on banks, financial institutions and currencies chaired by Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero to hold his proposed inquiry.
The terminated criminal complaint was

filed by Trillanes on May 5, 2016 which accused Duterte of maintaining ghost employees in Davao City which Trillanes claimed could have funded the latter’s P2.4 billion worth of deposits. The case was closed and terminated on November 29 last year.
Solicitor General Jose Calida said the Senate should stop the hearing about Duterte’s unexplained wealth and undeclared bank accounts considering it is based on the complaint filed before the Ombudsman.
“Knowing that this frivolous case was terminated by the Ombudsman, Sen. Trillions (Trillanes) now seeks to have another Senate hearing on the matter to convince the public about his garbage junked by the Ombudsman,” Calida said.
“The Senate should stop this non-sense investigation.” he urged.
“Senator Trillanes who is always badgering the President about this. Now, what can you say now? His evidence was junked, and because it is junked, it is another word for garbage,” Calida added.
Malacañang, for its part, said Trillanes should “move on” from his obsession to pin Duterte with the discredited charges that even the Ombudsman has ended investigations on these.
“I have only admiration for Trillanes’ persistence. His charges are worn out so move on,” Roque told reporters.
    Trillanes wants AMLC
Trillanes said that the Senate probe he wishes will have the Anti Money Laundering Council (AMLC) officials as resource persons after Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales blamed the AMLC of withholding documents that resulted in the termination of the probe.
“So we could summon the AMLC and question the legality of its refusal to comply with the Ombudsman’s request,” Trillanes said on the reason behind his pursued probe.
“Based on the statement of the Ombudsman, the only reason  the investigation against Duterte was closed, without prejudice to reopening in the future, is the refusal of AMLC to submit vital data, specifically, the detailed bank transactions of Duterte,” the senator pointed out.
“Let us remember that the executive director of AMLC was appointed by Duterte and has since been proactively protecting his political master,” he added.
The senator was referring to AMLC Executive Dir. Mel Georgie Racela who replaced Julia Bacay-Abad, an appointee of former President Aquino and who resigned in January last year.
Abad’s resignation came after the AMLC and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) came under fire from Mr. Duterte after he accused them of ignoring his requests for documents related to alleged money laundering activities, as well as the bank records of Sen. Leila de Lima and others who were supposedly involved in the Bilibid drug trade.
Following Mr. Duterte’s challenge to Congress to investigate his alleged ill-gotten wealth, Trillanes last Feb. 5 formally filed a resolution in the Senate seeking to look into the Chief Executive’s bank transactions as well as that of
Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio junked their alleged undisclosed “covered transactions,” or transactions exceeding P500,000.00, which may have violated the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA).
The said transactions involve accounts supposedly being maintained by the President and Mayor Sara in the Bank of Philippine Islands (BPI).
“Now, in the interest of transparency and accountability, I am calling on the Senate Committee on Banks to conduct an inquiry. Ultimately, the truth about this very important issue is stored in the data storage of AMLC and BPI,” Trillanes said.
   Solgen hits Ombudsman
Calida also cried foul over Morales’ justification for her decision not to disclose to the  public the status on the plunder case filed by Trillanes against Mr. Duterte which has already been closed and terminate last yeat.
The Ombudsman last week confirmed that the fact-finding or field investigation on the complaints filed against the President was closed and terminated on Nov. 29, 2017 after the AMLC declined to provide a report or confirmation on the requested vital data.
The Ombudsman said, “[a] closed and terminated field investigation is without prejudice to the refiling of a complaint with new or additional evidence.”
It has come to the knowledge of Morales from the press briefing of Calida last Wednesday that he has been informed of the closure and termination of the investigation, through a Feb. 12, 2018 letter-response to his letter-inquiry dated Feb. 8, 2018, addressed to Overall Deputy Ombudsman Melchor Arthur Carandang.
Calida reacted to Thursday’s statements of Morales who defended herself by saying  she inhibited herself from the case and pointed out that “fact-finding investigations, under the rules, are generally confidential in nature.”
“Granting that she inhibited during the fact-finding, the case was already ‘closed and terminated’. There’s nothing more to inhibit from,” Calida pointed out in a post on his Twitter account.
“The Ombudsman has the constitutional duty to publicize this matter, as it involves the President of the Republic of the Philippines,” he stressed.
      Morales ‘broadcast’
           start of probe
If fact-finding investigations are generally confidential in nature, the  Solicitor General reminded the Ombudsman “broadcast that a fact-finding probe was being conducted. “Now that the case is ‘closed and terminated’, the Ombudsman kept silent,” he lamented.
The Ombudsman learned about such closure and termination only on Jan. 29, 2018, upon an inquiry on the status thereof, after learning that Carandang was formally charged and placed under preventive suspension by the Office of the President.
“The Ombudsman trusts that in the conduct of fact-finding investigations, efforts are exhausted to gather evidence and to comply with pertinent internal rules. Fact-finding investigations, under the rules, are generally confidential in nature,” Morales said.
“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 (e.g., whether or not to act upon an inquiry “out of curiosity” or media requests for case status out of journalistic duty),” she added.
The Ombudsman, Morales said, could not have considered exercising such discretionary power relative to the complaints against the President due to her inhibition.
Calida reminded her back in October 2017 the Ombudsman publicly claimed that the documents in their possession are from the AMLC. “Which is which?” he asked posted in his Twitter account.
Calida earlier questioned the decision of Ombudsman Carpio-Morales to withhold from the public the status of the case.
“A public officer must be accountable to the people, serve them with utmost responsibility, integrity, and efficiency,” Calida told reporters during the press conference on Wednesday.
“Ombudsman Carpio-Morales, being the Ombudsman, must be the protector of the people. She has the constitutional duty to publicize matters covered by investigations when the circumstances so warrant and with due prudence,” he noted.
“This case involves the President of the Republic of the Philippines. Why are you withholding this information? When this case was filed, a press conference was even conducted. Three months after the termination of the case, the public has still no knowledge that the evidence supporting the allegations of Trillanes is without merit,” he explained.



  • Kokey

    Am glad the issue is now dead & earnestly hoping it will no longer resurrect. Amen!

    Kokey Saturday, 17 February 2018 10:22 Comment Link
  • Bert Hernandez

    Why can't anyone file a case against Trillanes when he has in his position an illegal document that is fake and never been issued by AMLC. At one time Calida was going to review his pardon from Aquino. Please do something to this guy, nakakasawa na nakasuka pa. Warangal Marino na nagana sa Bayan ang taking Ito. Saying ang Sheldong bnabayad ng gobierno. Maasai na kayonsa taong bayan, Mara in gma babaliw sa taong Ito.

    Bert Hernandez Saturday, 17 February 2018 10:18 Comment Link
  • josh

    Magkakasapakat yan,hukluban Morales, Trililinglianes, Abad kalbo, Nonoy Panoy Ritarded, Tupak Sereno, Baboy Drilon, Baliw Hontiveros, Unggoy Pangilinan, Druga Delima, Banx2 Aquino at mga dilawan LP...MOTTO: ONE 4 ALL, ALL 4 ONE SA PAGNANAKAW SA KABAN NG BAYAN!

    josh Saturday, 17 February 2018 08:20 Comment Link
  • inocent

    Conchita Carpio-Morales alleged that the same case can be re-filed if new or fresh evidence will be produced. However the statement is a dangling one because Trilliling is just repeating the meat of his accusation just like in the first attempt which failed. We suspect that Trilliling is just testing what Sen. Cheeze Escuder's reaction knowing that Cheeze is known to be always neutral and is very good in following where the wind blows, meaning Cheeze is a Senator who is afraid to make decisions. Well, the Ombudsman mafia apparently will not succeed again.

    inocent Saturday, 17 February 2018 03:35 Comment Link
  • Peter

    Ang matandang Ombusdman na nangangamoy pomalin na
    naki pagbuwatan sa senador na ganid na gustong guston
    maagaw ang Malakanyang kay PRRD

    Peter Friday, 16 February 2018 23:21 Comment Link
  • Peter

    Ang matandang Ombusdman na nangangamoy pomalin na
    naki pagbuwatan sa senador na ganid na gustong guston
    maagaw ang Malakanyang kay PRRD

    Peter Friday, 16 February 2018 23:19 Comment Link

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