Press Release
January 29, 2018

Senators Aquino, Hontiveros, and Pangilinan condemn suspension of Overall Deputy Ombudsman Carandang

Senators Bam Aquino, Risa Hontiveros, and Kiko Pangilinan on Monday condemned the filing of charges and the 90-day suspension imposed by Malacanang on Overall Deputy Ombudsman Melchor Arthur Carandang, claiming that it could be an attempt to stop him from further revealing the truth.

"It is critical that the Office of the Ombudsman remains independent and free from intimidation when investigating elected officials," said Sen. Bam Aquino. "Hayaan nating gawin ng Deputy Ombudsman ang kanyang trabaho na siyasatin kung mayroon ngang tagong yaman ang mga halal ng gobyerno," Sen. Aquino added.

Sen. Kiko Pangilinan, for his part, said Malacañang's move could be taken as preventing the truth from coming out.

"Lumilitaw na ito'y isang panggigipit lang sa isang opisyal ng pamahalaan na nagnanais lang ng transparency sa mga opisyal ng pamahalaan, lalo na kung dawit ang pinakamataas na pinuno ng gobyerno," said Sen. Pangilinan.

According to the letter read out by Palace spokesman Harry Roque, Carandang is guilty of "divulging valuable information of a confidential character acquired by his office or by him on account of his position."

Sen. Risa Hontiveros asked: "How can anybody be guilty of divulging valuable information that, according to Malacanang, is fake? By filing cases against Carandang, is Malacañang confirming the authenticity of the AMLC (Anti-Money Laundering Council) records?"

Malacañang put Carandang under a 90-day preventive suspension and "formally charged" him with "grave misconduct" and "grave dishonesty" for the unauthorized disclosures of the alleged bank transactions of President Duterte and his family.

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