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Palace: Duterte willing to release bank records if these conditions are met

“Hindi pa niya sinasabing he doesn't want to be investigated. Ang sinasabi lang po niya, at this stage, he's not... not at this time,” presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said regarding the ombudsman's probe into accusations of ill-gotten wealth against President Rodrigo Duterte. Presidential Photo/King Rodriguez

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte will disclose his bank records “if necessary and at the right time,” Malacañang said Tuesday amid issues surrounding the chief executive’s wealth that prompted the ombudsman to probe the matter.

“Hindi pa niya sinasabing he doesn't want to be investigated. Ang sinasabi lang po niya, at this stage, he's not... not at this time,” presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a chance interview.

“Tama naman na he's also under immunity kaya lang syempre meron siyang inilalatag na narrative din para makita natin talaga ano talagang kalagayan,” Abella added.

The president is immune from suit while in office, but he can be investigated in a criminal case.

Duterte had said he would form a commission that would look into allegations of anomalies and “partiality” in the anti-graft agency. He also threatened the officials at the ombudsman with arrest if they ignore court summons.

READ: Duterte threatens to arrest Ombudsman officials dodging probe

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This was after the ombudsman, acting on a case filed by Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, announced that it was launching a fact-finding probe into the alleged billions that Duterte’s family supposedly owned.

Duterte recently said he would not recognize the investigation to be conducted by the ombudsman as he accused the anti-graft body of corruption and “selective justice.”

Battling over bank accounts

Meanwhile, Duterte and Trillanes have been engaging in an exchange of accusations over hidden bank accounts containing millions of pesos.

Last year, at the height of the presidential election campaign, Trillanes accused then Mayor Duterte of owning P211 million in a Bank of the Philippine Islands account in Julia Vargas, Pasig City.

The president denied this and issued a legal document allowing his lawyer to receive documents pertaining to his account's details.

However, this document was insufficient as this would not be able to show the transaction history of the account, according to Trillanes, a claim that Duterte’s lawyer denied.

READ: Duterte camp refused to open accounts, Trillanes says

Duterte then turned the tables on Trillanes and claimed that he had offshore accounts in several countries. The senator subsequently issued 12 bank waivers to authorize the Anti-Money Laundering Council and the ombudsman to probe the accounts.

Trillanes went to Singapore last month to disprove the allegation that he had an account there, which Duterte admitted having invented.

READ: Trillanes: Account numbers checked at DBS Bank came from Duterte, Tulfo

Just last week, Duterte made a fresh allegation against the senator, claiming that the lawmaker closed his Singapore bank account before he flew to the island-nation and disproved the presidential accusation.

A review of the procedure for the closing of a DBS bank account in Singapore, however, suggests that it cannot be simply done over the internet.

It is the banking company's policy for the owner of the account to visit the branch where it was opened or to fill up a form that will authorize the account closure. The form is required to be sent by mail and it will take up to 45 days upon receipt for the bank to shut down the account.

READ: Duterte claims Trillanes closed Singapore bank account online

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