All photos by Pat Nabong/Rappler
MANILA, Philippines – Supporters of vice presidential bet Antonio Trillanes IV and presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte came face-to-face outside the Bank of the Philippine Islands Julia Vargas branch in Pasig City on Monday, May 2, to witness the release of Duterte’s controversial bank records.
Trillanes had alleged that Duterte’s account at this BPI branch contained P211 million at one point, but that the Davao City mayor did not declare it in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth.
Trillanes’ camp chanted his name while dancing outside the bank, while Duterte’s supporters stood with posters on the island in the middle of Julia Vargas Avenue.
“Dito natin malalaman at mapapatunayan kung sino ang nagsasbi ng kasinungalingan. Sabi nga, ‘Ang sinungaling ay kapatid ng magnanakaw,’” said Iska Villanueva, 55, who was wearing a shirt bearing Trillanes’ name. (This is how we will know who is telling a lie. Like they said, “The liar is the sibling of the thief.”)
“Masama 'yung loob namin dahil kung kailan malapit na 'yung botohan doon niya inuungkat ang hindi naman katotohanan,” said Emma Sali, a Duterte supporter, who believes that Duterte does not have to prove anything to Trillanes. (We feel bad because lies are surfacing now that election day is nearing.)
Brian Mutya, a Duterte supporter from Oriental Mindoro who went to BPI Julia Vargas just to witness the event, believes that legal papers must be shown to the public.
“Kung nandiyan ang ebidensiya, maaring puwede nating paniwalaan, pero kung wala pang ebidensya si Trillanes na hawak-hawak niya [at] hindi niya ma'pakita talaga sa media, hindi natin p'wedeng paniwalaan sapagkat kapag wala kang ebidensiya hindi mo p'wedeng kunin ang karapatan ng paniniwala ng isang tao.”
(If there is evidence [against Duterte], we can be led to believe it. But until evidence is shown by Trillanes to the media, we cannot be stripped of our right to believe otherwise.)
With only one week left before election day, Duterte and Trillanes’ supporters were present not only to show their concern in light of the recent controversy but also to call for change.
“Ang katotohanan ang magpapalaya sa ’tin sa bawat isa…ang maralita naghahangad ng pagbabago, tunay na pagbabago. Marami silang sinasabi pagbabago, pagbabago, wala namang nababago,” said Villanueva.
(The truth will set all of us free. The poor hopes for change, real change. They talk about change all the time, but nothing has changed.)
Mutya cited drugs, corruption, education, and women’s rights as problems that need to be resolved. “Ito po ang mainam na dapat tutukan po ng ating gobyerno, hindi 'yung paninira lamang sa isa’t isa ang ginagawa.” (This is what the government should be focusing on instead of defaming one another).
The supporters went home without seeing any resolution to the issue. BPI asked to be given 7 days to study whether to release the transaction records of Duterte's account, while Trillanes headed to the Magdalo headquarters for a press conference. There, he made another serious accusation against Duterte: the undeclared money might, just might, have come of drugs or other illegal operations. – Rappler.com