Three days after a report on his undeclared investments, President Rodrigo Duterte said he is willing to be investigated by Congress on his wealth.
Duterte, before flying to India to attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-India Special Commemorative Summit, slammed the “rich” who he said do not pay for airfare by using influence and money, noting that he paid for his own at the 2016 elections.
“This is why I want Congress to proceed. Mag-imbestiga kayo. As a matter of fact ako ‘yung mismo nag-i-insist para malaman ninyo ‘yung totoo (You investigate. As a matter of fact, I’m the one who insists it so that you discover the truth),” he said in a speech Jan. 24 at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
“Billions? Susmaryosep (Oh my god),” he added.
VERA Files published Jan. 21 a story on how Duterte and his daughter Sara failed to disclose joint deposits and investments exceeding P100 million, based on their bank records and annual net worth declarations. (See Duterte, Sara fail to declare P100M investments, documents show)
“It’s about time that magharapan tayo. Kaya ko binibira lahat. Wala kayong makalkal sa akin (It’s about time we face each other. That’s why I’m attacking everyone. You have nothing to dig from me),” Duterte said.
Palace Spokesperson Harry Roque dismissed the story as “gossip,” saying the bank documents which were the basis of VERA Files report were not authenticated by the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC). (See Palace dismisses report on undisclosed P100M investments as ‘hearsay’; Sara says it’s based on ‘rumor-mongering’)
Sara, mayor of Davao City, said the story is based on “rumor-mongering,” and likened it to allegations made by Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, who has filed a plunder case against her and her father before the Ombudsman in May 2016.
Duterte many times slammed former officials of the AMLC whom he suspected of leaking his bank records to Trillanes.
VERA Files obtained the documents from the Senate, which Trillanes entered into the Senate Oct. 3 after delivering a privilege speech saying the president had more than P2.2 billion in questionable bank transactions.
The Office of the Ombudsman said in late September that a copy of the bank records it obtained from the AMLC “more or less” resembles what Trillanes submitted in his complaint.
Although the AMLC denied being the source of Trillanes’ records and providing the Ombudsman any such report, a source who has knowledge of Trillanes’ and the Ombudsman’s documents told VERA Files that the bank entries found in these records are accurate.