05 Feb 2018
A Philippine senator and staunch critic of President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday filed a resolution seeking a legislative inquiry into whether Duterte and his eldest daughter had concealed assets amounting to almost $2 million.
Senator Antonio Trillanes asked the Senate committee on banks, financial institutions and currencies to probe deposits and investments involving their accounts, which he said could show possible violations of the country’s anti-money laundering law.
Duterte has cultivated an image as a humble man who disdains opulence and is uninterested in wealth and materialism.
Trillanes has long accused Duterte of failing to disclose his wealth going back to his time as mayor of southern Davao City prior to winning the presidency in May 2016.
Duterte has repeatedly denied wrongdoing and promised to resign if there was proof.
The president has even instructed the country’s Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) to disclose the transactions, yet he has still to sign the required waiver for that to happen.
Trillanes cited a recent report by VERA Files, a local investigative news organization, which said Duterte and daughter Sara Duterte-Carpio, who succeeded him as Davao mayor, failed to disclose deposits and investments exceeding 100 million pesos ($1.94 million) in their official asset declarations.
Duterte-Carpio also denies wrongdoing.
VERA Files said the bank records it saw came from the Senate and were entered into records by Trillanes himself, who claimed the same documents came from the AMLC.
The presidential palace dismissed Trillanes’ allegation as “old news” and said the lawmaker has no proof.
“The council had said those documents did not come from them and that the data he was talking about was incorrect,” said Duterte’s spokesman, Harry Roque.
Roque said any plan to oust the highly popular leader would fail.
The deputy ombudsman last year initiated an inquiry into allegations that Duterte had hidden assets.
– By by Enrico dela Cruz, Reuters. 5 February 2018
Photo – Supreme Court Associate Justice Bienvenido Reyes swears in Rodrigo Roa Duterte as the 16th President of the Philippines
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