MANILA, Philippines (AP) — A Philippine senator filed a corruption complaint on Thursday alleging that the front-runner in the country's presidential race, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, hired 11,000 non-existent employees whose salaries cost the government 708 million pesos ($15 million) in 2014.
Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, who is running for vice president as an independent candidate, filed the complaint with the Ombudsman's office against the tough-talking mayor, who is leading popularity polls ahead of Monday's election.
Trillanes earlier released leaked documents purportedly showing 2.4 billion pesos ($51 million) flowed into Duterte's various bank accounts from 2006 to 2015, representing alleged unexplained wealth the mayor failed to declare as required by law.
Duterte denies amassing any ill-gotten wealth. His spokesman, Peter Lavinia, said Davao City received a good governance award from the national government in 2015, calling it "positive affirmation compared with trumped-up charges" from Trillanes.
The complaint said ghost employees' salaries in 2014 cost Davao City's coffers 708 million pesos ($15 million) and that a 2015 Commission on Audit report questioned the lack of documents proving the contractual employees were working.
The next step is for the Ombudsman to investigate the complaint, and if it finds probable cause a charge will be filed before an anti-graft court.