PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte warned that he would not put himself under the jurisdiction of the Office of the Ombudsman, which will investigate his and his family’s wealth that was acquired allegedly from corrupt activities.
“I will not submit jurisdiction, to [the authority of]the Ombudsman. The Armed Forces, the police, are being charged before the Ombudsman. I myself paid for the bribe. I ask my friends to help out in [bribing the]investigators. All of us had to pay Ombudsman investigators, that’s why I won’t submit to its jurisdiction,” Duterte said in a speech before members of Integrated Bar of the Philippines in his hometown of Davao City on Saturday night.
The President then accused Overall Deputy Ombudsman Arthur Carandang of investigating him based on an alleged fake Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) report.
Carandang said the Office of the Ombudsman approved a request by the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman in Mindanao to obtain the AMLC documents and confirmed its receipt from the council to be used for “intelligence purposes”. He did not name the official who made the request from the Mindanao office.
Duterte insisted, however, that he would not submit to the jurisdiction of the Ombudsman whom he accused of “waving fabricated evidence, lying to his [her]teeth in front of the nation”.
”And then you want me to submit to the jurisdiction of the Ombudsman? Who will now investigate the Ombudsman? This Carandang, [Ombudsman Conchita Carpio] Morales…who will investigate them? There is a vacuum in the law,” Duterte said.
The Ombudsman’s investigation stemmed from the plunder complaint filed by Sen. Antonio Trillanes 4th against then Davao City Mayor Duterte before the Office of the Ombudsman on May 5, 2016.
This was before the May 9, 2016 elections, which Duterte eventually won.
“And so you, Carandang, you should be ready. I am not threatening you. If the Philippines goes into chaos, I will come for you first. That’s why I will not, for the life of me, [submit to the Ombudman’s jurisdiction],” Duterte said.
Ombudsman Concita Carpio Morales, a retired Supreme Court justice, said in a statement on Friday that her office would not be intimidated by the President and that he should have no nothing to fear if he has nothing to hide. She also maintained that her office would continue to investigate the President and his family’s wealth.
The President responded by accusing the Ombudsman of selective justice.
“You say now that you have evidence on Mr. Duterte, say you will proceed with [investigating]the case, but the AMLC has not issued [a]resolution to release the statement of my bank accounts. You tell me not to be onion skinned? How about my right to freedom of expression? P@!&!)$)!&@(,” Duterte said.
He asked the Ombudsman why cases filed from way back were not prioritized and accused the office of “selective justice”.
“Why prioritize my case, which is even based on false claims. You can just ask your friends in the Central Bank, I will slap you with those documents,” Duterte said.
’We should all resign’
The President then challenged Ombudsman Morales and Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno to resign with him and open their bank accounts to the public right after.
“I am ready to lose my honor, life and the Presidency. I now challenge Carpio and Chief Justice Sereno, sige nga (try me). You allow yourselves to be used [as political tool]. I challenge the two of you, we will go to Congress, in a simple ceremony, we sign a letter of resignation,” Duterte said.
“Then let us open all the books [of my bank accounts], including yours,” Duterte added.