OMBUDSMAN Conchita Carpio-Morales refused to bend to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s dare for them to resign together, saying she “will not be baited into abandoning” her constitutional duties.
In a statement, Morales said she is ready to answer all the president’s allegations against her.
“I will not be baited into abandoning my constitutional duties,” the Ombudsman said.
“If the president has charges against me, I will answer them in accordance with the law. I expect him to answer the charges against him in the same manner,” she added.
Stressing that she and Duterte are public officials who have “sworn to uphold the rule of law,” Morales added that they should try to do their jobs with “honor, honesty, and decency.”
Earlier this week, Duterte said he will not to recognize the investigation being conducted by the anti-graft body in connection with the corruption complaint filed by Senator Antonio Trillanes IV against him.
Duterte repeated denied allegations that he has billions of illegally amassed wealth, as he claimed that never committed any corrupt practices and that his total assets would not reach even P40 million.
Claiming that Morales herself was corrupt, the president said on Monday, October 2, said he “will not submit jurisdiction to the ombudsman because it’s a lousy thing.”
He challenged the Ombudsman, as well as Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno, to “resign” with him. He also dared them to open their bank accounts with him before Congress to show the Filipino people who was really corrupt.
Duterte likewise slammed overall Deputy Ombudsman Arthur Carandang for saying that the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) provided his family’s bank records.
The president claimed that the supposed report of the AMLC on his bank transactions were “fabricated” and “illegally obtained.”
The AMLC, however, denied that it gave records to the Ombudsman, clarifying that the latter’s request was still being evaluated.
Carandang, for his part, clarified that he does not have in his possession the bank transactions but was merely “reading through the documents shown to him by the media during the ambush interview, in response to media’s inquiry on the status of the complaint after more than a year since its filing and in stating that a request was made to AMLC as part of the regular investigative process.”
He also maintained that his office “has observed confidentiality in the Ombudsman investigation on the complaint against then Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, which complaint was filed, in fact, even before the 2016 elections.”
Carandang has been authorized by Morales to investigate the bank transactions of the Duterte family based on Trillanes’ complaint.
Morales previously said she has inhibited herself from acting on any case filed against the Duterte family as her nephew, lawyer Manases Carpio, is married to Duterte’s daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.