BY JP LOPEZ AND JOCELYN MONTEMAYOR
SEN. Antonio Trillanes IV yesterday revived his allegation during the campaign period last year that President Duterte accumulated at least P2 billion while he was mayor of Davao City.
Trillanes, who ran for the vice presidency in last year’s elections, said he challenged Duterte to show his bank accounts nine months ago but the President has yet to accept the challenge.
He said he would step down as senator if he would be proven wrong.
Chief presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo said Trillanes should just resign because he is not fit to be a senator.
“This allegation is a rehash of that old nonsense,” he also said, adding Trillanes was “only looking for free publicity.”
Panelo, who was Duterte’s legal counsel during the 2016 campaign, said the President has issued a waiver on the supposed bank account bank at the Bank of the Philippine Islands in Ortigas Avenue, where the P2 billion is supposedly kept, and the waiver remains.
He said those who want to look at the records of the account can use the same waiver in requesting the bank to release the records.
He noted it is the same issue that prompted Duterte to call the attention of the Anti-Money Laundering Council for its supposed failure to investigate him over the alleged accounts.
Trillanes claimed the President had P2.407 billion in bank transactions until 2015 and some of the transactions and supposed records involved the bank accounts of Duterte’s children led by Davao City Mayor and presidential daughter Sara Duterte-Carpio and common law wife Honeylet Avanceña.
Duterte-Carpio, in a statement, said she will give away the P121 million if Trillanes can prove his allegations and show where the money came from.
“If Trillanes can show where my alleged P121 million is right now and how it became illegal, kunin natin at ibigay ko sa inyo lahat,” she said.
Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said if Trillanes really has evidence, he should just follow due process.
After raising the issue in April 2016, Trillanes filed a complaint for plunder against Duterte before the Ombudsman.
Duterte’s staunchest ally Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano described as “false accusation” Trillanes allegations and asked why he is reviving the issue.
Cayetano, who also ran for vice president last year, said Trillanes is known for his constant attacks and baseless charges against the administration.
Trillanes, during the press conference, released a list of supposed bank accounts of the President, including that of his children Davao City Mayor Sara, Vice Mayor Paulo and Sebastian from 2003 to 2016.
As for the President, the records showed that he has joint accounts with Sara, Paulo, Sebastian and his youngest daughter Veronica in three BPI branches amounting to P2.2 billion.
The bank transactions were from Sept. 18, 2006 to Dec. 1, 2015.
Trillanes also said based on bank documents, Duterte’s campaign contributor Samuel Uy gave P118 million to different members of the Duterte family from October 2011 to April 2013. – With Reuters