May 3, 2016
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Antonio Trillanes IV on Monday called Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte a coward and tagged him “boy palusot” after the mayor’s camp failed to issue a waiver that would allow the opening of one of his controversial bank accounts with the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI).
Trillanes earlier said Duterte’s account at the BPI branch on Julia Vargas Avenue in Pasig City contained some P211-million, which was not declared in Duterte’s statement of assets, liabilities and net worth.
The senator showed up at the bank on Monday and met with Duterte’s lawyer, Salvador Panelo.
Trillanes, in a press briefing at Magdalo Office in Quezon City, said he executed an affidavit and presented it to Panelo during their closed-door meeting at the BPI-Julia Vargas branch.
However, he said Panelo only brought a special power of attorney and not the bank secrecy waiver that he was asking from Duterte.
Trillanes said he left the bank after hearing from Panelo that he was not authorized by Duterte to issue a waiver.
The senator said the least the Duterte’s camp could do was present a transaction history of the bank account to disprove his claim that the mayor had P211-million undeclared funds at the BPI-Julia Vargas branch.
Duterte earlier denied that the bank account in the said branch exist, but eventually admitted and agreed to sign a waiver if Trillanes would execute a formal affidavit.
“So, gaya ng aking inaasahan, si Mayor Duterte ay naduwag sa katotohanan. Ako ay nagbigay ng affidavit pero hindi sila nagbigay ng waiver at ang ni-request lang nila sa bangko ay yung account balances. Na alam naman natin na wala tayong makikita doon. Kasi kung nag-withdraw sila bago nila hiningi ‘yun, maliit lang ang lalabas doon,” Trillanes said.
“Iyon yung hiningi niya (Duterte) eh. So binigay ko… Abangan ang susunod na palusot ni boy palusot,” he added.
In the affidavit shared to the media, Trillanes said he “asked the help of accountants and finance specialists to tally and figure out just how much money was actually deposited and/or transferred into the subject bank accounts.”
“Their final tally shows that a total of P2,407,272,103.75 flowed into the subject bank accounts from 2006 to 2015,” the senator noted in the affidavit.
Trillanes alleged that Duterte maintained 17 accounts, which had P2.4 billion in total transactions from 2006 to 2015.
The senator also disclosed in the affidavit that he got the information from a certain Joseph de Mesa, which he met at the Magdalo Office last April 21.
He said De Mesa used to idolize Duterte but decided to withdraw his support when he saw the documents containing the mayor’s numerous bank accounts.
The senator noted that a close relative of De Mesa is working with an agency involved in investigating ill-gotten wealth of government officials.
“When everything checked out, I decided to go public with the information because I believe it is important for our people to know about the gross misrepresentation and pretentions perpetrated by Mayor Duterte that he is poor and he lives a simple life,” Trillanes said.
Aside from the BPI-Julia Vargas branch, the senator said Duterte is also keeping his “hundreds of millions, if not billions of pesos” in BPI-EDSA Greenhills branch and at the Banco De Oro Unibank in Mandaluyong City.
Trillanes also hinted the possibility of Duterte’s billions coming from smuggling and illegal drug operations.
“Nagkaroon ng isang insidente noong 2005. Nagkaroon ng isang raid sa isang drug den sa Davao City. Mayroong mga Chinese nationals na nahuli dito. Di ba ang sinasabi ni Mayor Duterte, pinapatay niya ang mga drug lord? Pero ang ginawa niya sa walong Chinese nationals, inarbor niya,” he said.
“Inilaban niyang mai-release. Bakit daw? Kasi in the spirit of the Chinese New Year. Iyon ang dahilan niya. Wala pa ako doon pero you’ll be the judge. Sinasabi niya na pinapatay niya ang mga drug lords at mga drug pushers eh ang tanong dito, baka iyong kumpitensiya ang pinapatay? Baka lang ha. Pag-isipan natin iyan,” he added.
Trillanes appealed to Duterte followers not to be blind.
“Maraming nabobola eh. Sana this time mamulat naman mga kababayan natin. Anim na taon na ‘to (presidency) eh. Itong tao na ‘to may tinatagong yaman na 2.4 billion pesos. Kung okay lang sa inyo, then fine vote for him,” the senator said.
“Alam ko nasasaktan kayo pero ‘wag kayo magbulag-bulagan. Hindi po siya simpleng tao. Hindi siya simpleng pamumuhay. Bilyonaryo po siya,” he added. – RBA