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Deputy ombudsman under fire

By: Genalyn Kabiling

Overall Deputy Ombudsman Melchor Arthur Carandang is facing two administrative complaints in connection with his alleged false and unlawful disclosure of President Duterte’s alleged bank records.

In the first administrative complaint filed before the Office of the President, lawyers Manuelito Luna and Eligio Mallari sought the removal of Carandang from office for alleged graft and betrayal of public trust. His co-accused were Deputy Ombudsman for Mindanao Rodolfo Elman and members of the fact-finding investigation unit of the Office of the Ombudsman-Mindanao.

The second complaint against Carandang was lodged by former congressmen Jacinto Paras and Glenn Chong.

The flurry of complaints against Carandang came after President Duterte lashed out at the Ombudsman official for using fabricated and illegally obtained evidence against him.

Carandang is leading the probe into the President’s alleged hidden wealth based on a complaint filed by Senator Antonio Trillanes IV. The Ombudsman official earlier reportedly claimed having Duterte’s bank information from the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) that showed reaching billions, a claim that has been denied by the council.

In the first complaint, Carandang has been accused of committing graft and corruption “for causing any undue injury to any party, including the government, or giving any private party any unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge of his official administrative or judicial functions through manifest partiality, and for divulging valuable information of a confidential character, acquired by his office or by him on account of his official position to unauthorized persons.”

He also allegedly committed betrayal of public trust for “falsely and maliciously claiming that the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) had issued a Report regarding the alleged account deposits of President Rodrigo Duterte.”