SolGen to Senate: Stop probe on Duterte's wealth

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 13) — The government's top lawyer on Tuesday urged the Senate to refrain from investigating President Rodrigo Duterte's wealth.

Solicitor General Jose Calida made this statement as he announced that the Office of Ombudsman has ended the probe on Senator Antonio Trillanes IV's plunder complaint against the President.

READ: Ombudsman junks Trillanes' plunder case vs. Duterte

"Senator Trillanes seeks to have another Senate hearing to convince probably the public about his garbage evidence junked by the Ombudsman. The Senate should stop its investigation," Calida said.

He added that the probe would amount to nothing.

"They're wasting their time because Trillanes' evidence as I said is garbage. It will not stand the scrutiny of senators," he added.

Trillanes, one of the President's staunchest critics, stood by his claims.

"If what I have is nothing but garbage, then why are they panicking?" he said in a statement.

He said Duterte should finally sign a waiver to let the Senate open his bank accounts.

"If I am wrong in my allegations then I would resign immediately as Senator and voluntarily walk in any jail of his choice," he added.

The President has refused to sign a waiver but repeatedly denied Trillanes allegations, throwing back accusations the senator has offshore bank accounts.

Trillanes filed Senate Resolution No. 602 on February 5, directing the Committee on Banks, Financial Institutions, and Currencies to investigate bank documents allegedly showing the Duterte family's "undisclosed transactions." 

Trillanes has accused the President of having unexplained wealth even before the elections in May 2016.

He called the President a "fraud" for supposedly failing to declare at least P211 million in bank deposits in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth. He said the money is in Duterte's joint account with his daughter Sara, in the Julia Vargas branch of the Bank of the Philippine Islands.

In a privilege speech in October 2017, Trillanes also detailed Duterte's alleged bank transactions from 2006 to 2015, with the highest amount transacted in one day reaching up to P193 million.

READ: Trillanes details Duterte's alleged hidden wealth

CNN Philippines' Yvette Morales contributed to this report.