Palace says Duterte not vindictive; denies having hand in filing complaints vs Ombudsman executives
President Rodrigo Duterte is not vindictive of those investigating his alleged undeclared wealth, Malacanang said on Tuesday.
Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella, in a press briefing, also denied that the Palace was behind the filing of administrative complaints against Overall Deputy Ombudsman Melchor Arthur H. Carandang and other officials of the anti-graft body probing Duterte's alleged hidden huge bank deposits.
"Vindictiveness is a perception. You know, he (Duterte) may have strong words, he may sound emotional regarding these certain matters. He is a human being with full range of emotions, however you have to credit him he goes back to the law," he said.
Some lawyers filed separate administrative complaints against Carandang and others before the Office of the Executive Secretary on Tuesday.
The filing of complaints came after Duterte warned the executives of the Office of the Ombudsman, particularly Carandang, that he would have them investigated for alleged corruption.
"Apparently, the person who filed it is an independent person. So there's no need to connect any dots," Abella said when asked on observation regarding the apparent connection between Duterte's warning and the consequent filing of complaints against the officials of the Ombudsman.
Abella also accused the Office of the Ombudsman of the "deliberate effort to discredit the President, mislead the public, and to create popular outrage against the duly elected Chief Executive.
"The public's mind seems to be being set," he said.
He also accused the Office of the Ombudsman of showing its "true political color," stressing that the anti-graft body was supposed to conduct an impartial and fair investigation.
"It should not play into the hands of those who cannot accept the fact that the President won in the 2016 election. It should not be party to a demolition job. We have seen this before. This is d?j? vu," Abella stressed.
Asked if Duterte would ask Carandang to inhibit from the case and ask another official to handle the probe, Abella said, "I cannot speculate on that matter. That would be speculation." Celerina Monte/DMS