Trillanes identifies Duterte’s ‘source’ of fake bank accounts

Camille Elemia
Trillanes identifies Duterte’s ‘source’ of fake bank accounts
Senator Antonio Trillanes IV names Daniel 'Snooky' Cruz as President Rodrigo Duterte's alleged source of 'fake information'

MANILA, Philippines – Opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes IV on Tuesday, October 3, identified President Rodrigo Duterte’s source of his “fake” offshore accounts.

Trillanes delivered a privilege speech on Tuesday and claimed he was informed by some graduates of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) in Malacañang that a certain Daniel “Snooky” Cruz is the source of the fake bank documents.

Trillanes claimed Cruz sold the bank details to Malacañang on August 31 for P10 million.

“Ang nag-imbento ay isang Daniel ‘Snooky’ Cruz. Ito pong taong ‘to nagpapanggap na siya raw ay isang well-connected sa US embassy, dati raw siyang federal agent,” the senator said.

(The one who manufactured this is a certain Daniel “Snooky” Cruz. This man pretends that he is well-connected with the US embassy, that he is a former federal agent.)

INFORMER? Snooky Cruz (right) poses for a photo with Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo and PNP spokesperson Chief Superintendent Dionardo Carlos at the Palace grounds. Photo from Cruz's Facebook page

Trillanes said Cruz is well-connected in Malacañang, as he showed photos of Cruz with Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Ronald dela Rosa and the President himself.

A check with Cruz’s Facebook page also shows him with PNP spokesperson Chief Superintendent Dionardo Carlos, whom he described as his “best friend.”

“Binigay noong August 31, and true enough, may picture si Mr Cruz and Mr Duterte sa Malacañang on August 31, so talagang nahuli natin. Buti na lang may nagmamalasakit na PMAers na nagbisto kay Mr Cruz at sinabi sa akin,” Trillanes said.

(He gave this on August 31 and true enough, Mr Cruz and Mr Duterte have photos taken in Malacañang on August 31, so we really caught them. It’s good that there are PMAers who support us and exposed Mr Cruz to us.)

“Again, si Mr Daniel Cruz ay meron siyang mga connection sa Malacañang. Nakaakbay siya kay PNP [chief], well-connected siya (Now, Mr Daniel Cruz has connections in Malacañang. Here he is seen with his arm around the PNP chief, he’s well-connected), Trillanes added, as he showed a photo of Cruz and Dela Rosa.

The senator also insinuated that Cruz might be connected to former president and now Pampanga 2nd District Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo since Cruz’s office is at the LTA Building in Perea Street in Makati City, which is owned by the family of former first gentleman Jose Miguel “Mike” Arroyo. Trillanes, however, said his camp has yet to verify the link.

Same fake accounts of De Lima?

Trillanes said it was also Cruz who sold to authorities the same fake details, claiming at the time that they were of Senator Leila de Lima’s supposed accounts. The senator showed photos to prove they are the same.

De Lima’s details were not released to the public, he claimed, because a Cabinet official was informed that the documents were “fake.”

“Ibinenta itong impormasyon na ‘to. Ginawa niya ito dati pa or last year for that matter, nag-alok siya at nagbenta siya ng fake bank accounts ni Senator Leila de Lima. At tingnan ‘nyo ngayon, same,” said Trillanes while showing photos.

(This information was sold. He did it before or last year, for that matter. He offered and sold [information on] fake bank accounts of Senator Leila de Lima. Look at this now, they’re the same.)

“Isang Cabinet official ‘di nilabas kasi peke. Buti naman ‘di siya nasunog pero ‘di pa nadala dito si Mr Snooky Cruz, pinalitan lang ibang detalye at binenta ulit sa Malacañang this time,” he added.

(A Cabinet official did not release this because it was fake. Good for him but Mr Snooky Cruz did it again. He just changed a few details and sold it to Malacañang this time.)

Trillanes did not name the Cabinet official. In 2016, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II claimed they had details of De Lima’s bank accounts but the issue did not prosper.

Trillanes earlier disproved Duterte’s allegations that he had offshore accounts in Singapore by personally going to the specific bank branches. He also earlier signed bank secrecy waivers.

Duterte eventually admitted he just invented the details to “catch” Trillanes. He later claimed that Trillanes closed his DBS account “online” before flying to the Southeast Asian country. DBS, however, said accounts can only be closed in person at bank branches and not online.

The senator has reiterated his challenge to Duterte to sign bank secrecy waivers. (READ: Trillanes claims Duterte bought P80-M insurance for 4 kids in cash in 2014)

– Rappler.com

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Camille Elemia

Camille Elemia is Rappler's lead reporter for media, disinformation issues, and democracy. She won an ILO award in 2017. She received the prestigious Fulbright-Hubert Humphrey fellowship in 2019, allowing her to further study media and politics in the US. Email camille.elemia@rappler.com