SolGen Calida slams Ombudsman for withholding info on November dismissal of Trillanes plunder complaint vs Duterte


(Eagle News) — The plunder case filed by Senator Antonio Trillanes IV against President Rodrigo Duterte before the Office of the Ombudsman has already been “terminated” for “lack of merit” as early as November last year.

Solicitor General Jose Calida made the revelation as he slammed Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales for “withhold(ing) the information” from the public about the case’s dismissal.

“I would not have known this had I not written a letter,” Calida 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 in a statement read in a press conference.

Calida was referring to the letter he wrote the anti-graft body on February 8, and in which he asked a copy of the complaint filed by Trillanes in May 2016.

-Carandang approved dismissal of plunder case-

Overall Deputy Ombudsman Melchor Carandang said in a Feb. 12 letter that the investigation was “closed and terminated,” upon the approval of Deputy Ombudsman Cyril E. Ramos on November 20, 2017.

The Palace earlier suspended Carandang for 90 days for leaking alleged bank documents on Duterte’s accounts claiming it came from the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) that had been used as basis for Trillanes’ complaint against the President. The AMLC denied that it came from them.

Calida said Carandang himself approved the recommendation to terminate the plunder case against Duterte on November 29 last year.

“I received a letter from 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 in a statement.

The plunder case against the President was filed in May 2016 by Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, alleging that Duterte had unexplained wealth and undeclared bank accounts.

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales inhibited from the case.

“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,” Calida said.

-Trillanes knew plunder case was already dismissed but still pushed for Senate probe, says OSG-

He also called on the Senate to “stop this nonsense investigation” against President Duterte that Trillanes is pushing, noting that the senator only asked for such because he knew the complaint he filed had already been junked by the Ombudsman.

“Knowing that this frivolous case was terminated by the Ombudsman, Sen. Trillanes now seeks to have another Senate hearing on the matter to convince the public about his garbage junked by the Ombudsman,” the OSG said.