PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte insisted on Thursday he was not hiding his wealth from the public, daring those who wished to oust him to do so if his wealth turned out to be beyond P40 million.
In his speech during the 58th Philippine Army Change of Command Ceremony in Taguig City, Duterte denied he was worth more than P40 million and said that computation was too much, even if his inherited properties were included.
“Never mind my politics, pampatawa lang ‘yan [that’s meant to make you laugh]. Wag kayong maniwala [Don’t believe it]. Sabi ko nga [As I’ve said], if it exceeds the P40-million mark, that’s my lifetime savings, including my hereditary properties, please oust me if I’m telling you a lie,” Duterte said.
Duterte has been accused by Sen. Antonio Trillanes 4th and other critics of hiding wealth from the public, after an official at the Office of the Ombudsman claimed to have gotten hold of records of his and his family’s bank transactions that ran into hundreds of millions of pesos.
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales’ office claimed that it has started looking into the wealth of the President and his family, and that it had requested more information from the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC).
Overall Deputy Ombudsman Arthur Carandang said the Duterte family’s transactions amounted to hundreds of millions of pesos from different banks between 2006 and 2016. He clarified, however, that it was hard to determine the total amount of deposits, since money went in and out of the accounts.
The AMLC denied having released any report to the Ombudsman, saying it had yet to evaluate its request for an investigation of the bank accounts of the President and his family.
Duterte, an impeachable official, said he would not submit himself to the investigation being conducted by the anti-graft body.
On Wednesday, Duterte said he would pursue impeachment complaints against Morales and Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, accusing them of being part of a “conspiracy” to oust him through an investigation into his supposed ill-gotten wealth.
The President declared total assets less total liabilities of P27.4 million as of end-2016, or an increase of more than P3.3 million (14 percent) from the P24.08 million he declared in June 2016.