By Czarina Nicole Ong
The Office of the Ombudsman is currently conducting an investigation on the reported ill-gotten wealth of resigned Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, the son of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales shared this piece of news on Tuesday during a forum on justice and integrity held at the Novotel Hotel in Cubao, Quezon City.
Morales revealed there is a pending investigation into the alleged ill-gotten wealth of the Duterte family. “Yes, iniinvestigate na namin sila (we are investigating them). If there’s any liability, we fault them if there is, if there’s none, then sorry,” she said.
When pressed which one from the Duterte family, Morales replied: “Well, they said there are cases pending investigation. Sabi nila ‘yung (They said it’s the) vice mayor.”
Morales was then asked if she was referring to Paolo, and she answered, “Yes.”
Because of her connection with Duterte, Morales has inhibited herself from these cases. “As far as they are concerned, hindi na ako mag (I will not) participate. Even when the President was a mayor, nag inhibit na ako (I already inhibited myself), in writing,” she said.
Morales’ nephew, Mans Carpio, is the son-in-law of Duterte. Carpio is married to Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.
While the Ombudsman is still looking into Paolo’s finances, Morales also confirmed that the probe against the President has already been dismissed.
“I was told that the investigation respecting his unexplained wealth has been closed and terminated when you say closed and terminated, that is without prejudice to another investigation if warranted,” she said.
Based on a document dated January 12, 2018, from the Office of the Ombudsman Central Records Division, there are five pending cases against Paolo Duterte that are in the preliminary investigation stage.
The first one, docketed OMB-C-A-16-0073, is in violation of R.A. 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees. OMB-C-C-16-0081 is for violation of R.A. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, while OMB-C-F-16-0019 is for violation of R.A. 1379 or an act declaring forfeiture in favor of the state any property found to have been unlawfully acquired by any public officer or employee.
OMB-C-A-16-0074 is for conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service, grave misconduct and serious dishonesty. The last one is for another violation of R.A. 3019 and Article 183 of the Revised Penal Code (Perjury).
Morales did not elaborate on any cases and only maintained that she has already inhibited herself.