Trillanes pushes Senate probe into AMLC's refusal to cooperate with Ombudsman

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Antonio Trillanes IV has called for a Senate probe into the refusal of the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) to cooperate in the investigation of the Office of the Ombudsman into the plunder complaint against President Rodrigo Duterte.

Trillanes made the call on Friday, February 16, a day after the Ombudsman announced it had terminated its probe as it could not get the needed data from the AMLC on Duterte’s accounts at the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI).  (READ: AMLC's bank records on Duterte show P1-B flow of money – Ombudsman)

“In the interest of transparency and accountability, I am calling on the Senate Committee on Banks to conduct an inquiry so we could summon the AMLC and question the legality of its refusal to comply with the Ombudsman's request,” Trillanes said.

“Ultimately, the truth about this very important issue is stored in the data storage of AMLC and BPI,” the fierce Duterte critic added.

Trillanes said he called for the investigation as “based on the statement of the Ombudsman, the only reason why the investigation against Duterte was closed, without prejudice to reopening in the future, is the refusal of AMLC to submit vital data, specifically, the detailed bank transactions of Duterte.”

“Let us remember that the Executive Director of AMLC was appointed by Duterte and has since been proactively protecting his political master,” the senator said.

Mel Georgie Racela was appointed AMLC executive director in September 2017.

Trillanes earlier said he was eyeing charges against Racela for a supposed “cover-up” of Duterte’s bank documents.

The Office of the Ombudsman said on Thursday that it had no choice but to end the fact-finding investigation into the complaints filed against Duterte because it could not get the necessary data from the AMLC.

Overall Deputy Ombudsman Arthur Carandang earlier said that they had Duterte's bank records that came from the AMLC, and that the records "more or less" looked like the records submitted by the complainant, Trillanes. He said the records showed a cash flow of almost P1 billion 

Trillanes filed the complaint against Duterte days before the 2016 elections, alleging that Duterte had P2.4 billion in deposits in his BPI bank account.  (READ: Trillanes to Duterte: Stop doing a Binay, sign a waiver)Rappler.com