TWO separate administrative complaints were filed against Overall Deputy Ombudsman Melchor Arthur Carandang before the Office of the President on Tuesday, seeking his removal from office after he announced he would investigate allegations that President Rodrigo Duterte and his family had billions in undeclared wealth.
Despite Duterte’s earlier threats to go after Carandang, the Palace denied having anything to do with the filing of charges.
In a complaint filed before the Office of the Executive Secretary, former lawmakers Jacinto Paras of Negros Oriental and Glenn Chong of Biliran accused Carandang of graft and committing grave misconduct and gross dishonesty, constituting betrayal of public trust when he “illegally” disclosed Duterte’s alleged bank deposits.
Another complaint was filed by lawyers Manuelito Luna and Eligio Mallari against Carandang and Deputy Ombudsman for Mindanao Rodolfo Elman, and members of the Ombudsman Fact-Finding Investigation Team in Mindanao, accusing the Office of the Ombudsman of giving unwarranted benefits to private parties through manifest partiality.
Both complaints cited Carandang’s Sept. 27 interview over ABS-CBN with broadcaster Henry Omaga Diaz, claiming that he “maliciously and arbitrarily” disclosed details of Duterte’s bank records.
Paras insisted that the Office of the President had the authority to investigate the deputy ombudsman and the special prosecutor of the ombudsman under Section 8 of the Ombudsman Act of 1989.
The petitioners maintained that the President also had the concurrent authority to exercise discipline “on lower rank officials,” hence their prayer to have the Deputy Ombudsman removed from his post.
Paras, meanwhile, accused Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, an appointee of President Benigno Aquino III, of working with “the yellows” to destroy Duterte.
The two complaints were filed three days after Duterte publicly threatened Carandang for claiming that he has alleged billions in bank transactions.
Carandang had earlier asserted that he “observed confidentiality” in the ongoing probe into Duterte’s allegedly hidden wealth.
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