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Before labor leaders, Roxas hits Duterte over 'cash gifts'

MANILA, Philippines – Liberal Party standard-bearer Manuel Roxas II on Sunday, May 1, hit presidential rival Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte for supposedly receiving cash gifts in the millions from friends.  

"According to the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, you're not supposed to receive cash gifts of that value. If it's your birthday and you're given a cake, it's okay. But when you're given millions of pesos, that's a bribe," Roxas told leaders of the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) in a speech during its National Assembly in Quezon City.  

TUCP, which counts over one million workers as its members, has endorsed the presidential bid of the LP president-on-leave.

Roxas was referring to a BPI account which Duterte initially denied ownership of. Senator Antonio Trillanes IV had claimed that the account contained hundreds of millions of pesos in 2014. (READ: Duterte: Trillanes a disgrace to Bicol race)

Duterte initially said the account only had tens of thousands of pesos but later said it contained "a little less than P211 million." 

"I thought only his mouth was dirty. Now it turns out, even his hands are dirty," Roxas added.  

The LP standard-bearer has been hitting Duterte hard over his supposed hidden account, egging on the Davao City mayor to waive his bank secrecy rights. Roxas and running mate Leni Robredo earlier signed waivers allowing the Ombudsman access to their bank accounts

Duterte recently retaliated by challenging Roxas to make public his own bank transactions from the past 20 years. 

But Roxas refused to take up Duterte's challenge, telling reporters on Sunday that the mayor was merely muddling the issue.

WATCH: Roxas on Duterte's "challenge" for him to show public bank transactions #PHvote https://t.co/QGFS0Ct8J7 — Bea Cupin (@beacupin) May 1, 2016

 

Duterte continues to lead opinion polls, with roughly a week left in the campaign period. Roxas, meanwhile, is in a statistical tie with Senator Grace Poe, according to the latest surveys. (READ: Duterte unstoppable? Roxas says Filipinos are 'smart voters') – Rappler.com