SOLICITOR General Jose Calida yesterday said the plunder case filed by Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV against President Rodrigo Duterte has already been closed and terminated.
The plunder case was filed by Trillanes against Duterte in May 2016 over the former Davao City mayor’s alleged unexplained wealth and undeclared bank accounts.
Calida said he inquired from the Office of the Ombudsman (OMB), through a letter dated February 8, about the status of the criminal complaint filed by Trillanes on May 5, 2016 which accused Duterte of maintaining ghost employees in Davao City that could have funded the latter’s P2.4 billion worth of bank deposits.
“I received a letter from (Overall Deputy Ombudsman Melchor Arthur) Carandang stating that the investigation has already been closed and terminated. The recommendation to terminate was approved by Deputy Ombudsman Cyril Ramos on 29 November 2017,” Calida said, citing the reply he received from the Office of the Ombudsman on the Duterte case.
Carandang was suspended by Malacanang over unauthorized disclosures of Duterte’s alleged bank accounts.
Calida accused Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales of withholding from the public the status of the case.
“A public officer must be accountable to the people, serve them with utmost responsibility, integrity, and efficiency,” Calida told reporters during the press conference.
“Ombudsman Carpio-Morales, being the Ombudsman, must be the protector of the people. She has the constitutional duty to publicize matters covered by investigations when the circumstances so warrant and with due prudence,” he said.
“This case involves the President of the Republic of the Philippines. Why are you withholding this information? When this case was filed, a press conference was even conducted. Three months after the termination of the case, the public has still no knowledge that the evidence supporting the allegations of Trillanes is without merit,” he said.