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AMLC denies providing report on Duterte bank records

President Rodrigo Duterte delivers a speech during the 120th founding anniversary of the Department of Justice at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City on Sept. 26, 2017. PPD/Ace Morandante

MANILA, Philippines (Update 3, First pubished Sept. 28 at 8:24 p.m.) — The Anti-Money Laundering Council on Thursday denied that it had provided the Office of the Ombudsman with a report detailing the transaction history of the accounts President Rodrigo Duterte allegedly jointly owned with his children.

The bank records are supposedly what the anti-graft body used to launch a fact-finding probe into the chief executive's alleged clandestine wealth.

The AMLC also labeled the total amounts in the attachment to the complaint of Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV filed before the ombudsman as "wrong and misleading" as the outflows and inflows of funds were added together.

"It (AMLC) has neither provided the Office of the Ombudsman with any report as a consequence of any investigation of subject accounts for any purpose," AMLC said in a statement.

On Wednesday, the ombudsman said that it was launching a fact-finding probe into the allegations of Trillanes that the chief executive's family had billions of pesos in bank accounts.

READ:  Official on Duterte bank records: There were millions

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Overall Deputy Ombudsman Melchor Carandang was quoted as saying that his agency received the president's bank records from before he became president in 2006 up to 2016 from the government's Anti-Money Laundering Council.

"We can confirm that we received bank transactions from AMLC," Carandang was quoted as saying. "There were P40 millions ... P50 million ... there were many."

While it did not mention anything about providing the bank records to the ombudsman's office, the AMLC said it had not yet evaluated and acted on the request of Carandang to probe the Duterte accounts contained in a letter he sent to the council on Aug. 17, 2017. The AMLC claimed it received the letter only on Sept. 6.

The AMLC also dismissed reports that it was the source of the information and documents Trillanes used in filing his charge at the ombudsman.

"We have categorically stated before that the Anti-Money Laundering Council is not the source of the documents and information attached by Senator Antonio F. Trillanes IV in his Complaint regarding the alleged bank accounts of President Rodrigo Duterte," it said.

Investigating the investigator

Carandang said that there were many transactions in the report amounting to millions of pesos.

Duterte on Thursday warned the ombudsman that he would create a commission that would investigate into alleged anomalies in the office if it would not be fair in handling his case.

This warning came despite the assurance of Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella that the president respected the internal processes of the anti-graft agency and trusted its impartiality.

Duterte basically accused the probers of the ombudsman of being partisan after he claimed that they were not acting on the Disbursement Acceleration Program-related cases of the members of the former ruling Liberal Party.

"You'll be investigated  also. One of these days, kayo ang sigurado kong hahabulin dahil nga yung partiality ninyo," he said in an interview with state-run PTV-4. "'Pag hindi ninyo imbestigahan sarili ninyo, ako mag-set up ng commission  to investigate you  as a president with investigating powers."

Corruption has been endemic in the anti-graft office as military and government officials bribed officers of the Office of the Ombudsman to dismiss their cases, according to the president.

He claimed that he was also offered to have his case dismissed in exchange for a certain amount when he was still the mayor of Davao City.

"Ako nung  mayor ako , hiningian  ako, hindi ako pumayag," said the president who claimed that he spent a lot of money for the case that was eventually dismissed by the Supreme Court.

When asked if corruption still persisted in the agency, he said, "Ay oo. Sigurado yan."

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