[Newspoint] Duterte vs the people's right to know

If Duterte had been prescient enough to put his inheritance in 3 pieces of property in Forbes Park, the premier rich man's ghetto, in Makati, and sold now, he would have realized a billion pesos, precisely equal the amount shown to have found its way into his family's bank accounts. But Carandang's and Trillanes' documents show no such simple transactions; they show, rather, sums flowing across a network of bank accounts.

Trillanes did not say where he got his documents. In his own case, Carandang points to the Anti-Money Laundering Council, but it denies being the source. In any case, the Office of the Ombudsman says that it "stands by its word." And responding to Duterte's threat to have the office investigated for corruption, it says that it "shall not be intimidated" and that it in fact "welcomes... efforts to help it cleanse its ranks."

At any rate, the unsorted question about who provided the bank records loses much of its relevance in the glare of the damning evidence the records themselves reveal. Understandably, any anomaly involving the president – in particular a president so easily provoked to retaliate as Duterte – is most likely to disperse blamable functionaries. As it happens, the chairman of the Anti-Money Laundering Council is Duterte's recent appointee as Central Bank governor.

To be sure, taking on the president – any president – under any circumstances is sensitive business, to say the least. For one thing, the president cannot be sued while in office. He may be impeached by the House of Representatives and tried by the Senate, but the prospect is an improbable one for Duterte since he commands a massive majority in both houses.

All that immunity, however, does not shield him from being investigated and revealed for wrongdoing. In fact, with his net worth, he is required by law to be truthful and transparent, and that's precisely the duty Trillanes and Carandang are trying to get Duterte to fulfill, so that the people's right to know may be satisfied. – Rappler.com