TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Arthur Carandang, an official of the independent government agency, Office of the Ombudsman was dismissed on August 1, after disclosing details of an investigation into the wealth of President Rodrigo Duterte and his family, reports say.
The ombudsman launched an investigation with the Anti-Money Laundering Council, after an allegation was leveled against Duterte, saying he collected up to US$41.5 million (NT$1.271 billion) as Mayor of Davao City.
Carandang previously claimed in an interview with ABC-CBN on September 27, 2017 that the ombudsman has bank records showing unexplained transactions implicating Duterte of malpractice.
Carandang was sacked for intent to distribute information "adverse to the president" and was found "guilty of manifest partiality" towards anti-Duterte Senator, Antonio Trillanes, reported Reuters.
The presidential office also claims that information provided by Carandang was "false and misleading."
Carandang's "transgressions… constitute graft and betrayal of public trust, which gravely affect his fitness to remain in public office," said the presidential office, according to ABC-CBN.
Duterte had been a vocal critic of Carandang, and previously tried to suspend him for 90 days. The suspension was rejected by the Office of the Ombudsman, who insisted on their independence to the government, reported Reuters.
The investigation into Duterte's potential ill-gotten gains was concluded on November 29, 2017, with the ombudsman singling out the Anti-Money Laundering Council for their failure to supply information.