Philippines' Duterte Dismisses Allegations He's Hiding Millions
(Bloomberg) -- Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte dismissed allegations he’s hiding hundreds of millions of pesos in his bank accounts, calling them “lies” and vowing to snub a probe into his wealth initiated by the country’s top anti-graft agency.
In a profanity-laced speech before lawyers in his hometown of Davao City, Duterte said his lifetime savings don’t exceed 40 million pesos ($786,0000). The savings come from his inheritance, salary from a government stint of more than two decades and legitimate businesses run by his ex-wife and his current partner, he said.
“There are baseless lies that I have hundreds of millions,” he said. “Even if I wanted to steal, where will I get that amount?”
The Philippine leader said he will not submit to the jurisdiction of the ombudsman looking into his wealth, accusing the anti-graft office of fabricating evidence against him. He also threatened to investigate Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales and her office for supposedly engaging in corrupt practices. The Office of the Ombudsman has said it will not be intimidated by Duterte and will continue with its investigation.
Duterte also said he was willing to resign if Morales and Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno stepped down. Both are appointees of former President Benigno Aquino, whose allies Duterte has blamed for trying to erode his leadership.