Trillanes: Duterte's P2.4B possibly from drugs

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Antonio Trillanes IV on Monday, May 2, hinted that the alleged P2.4 billion worth of deposits in Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte's bank account came from illegal drug operations. 

Asked where he suspects the deposits came from, the senator told reporters in Filipino: "What are the illegal sources? Corruption, plunder. Kung galing sa [illegal] activities: illegal drugs, smuggling, at kung ano-ano pa. 'Yan ang mga p'wede. Pero hindi pa ako ready na i-pinpoint ano specifically ang pinanggalingan." (READ: Duterte: Details of BPI bank account to be disclosed May 2

(If it came from illegal activities: illegal drugs, smuggling, and a lot more. Those are the possibilities. But I am not yet ready to pinpoint specifically where it came from.)

While he mentioned on Monday other possible illegal sources of Duterte's money, Trillanes earlier criticized the Davao City mayor for freeing Chinese nationals who were caught with drugs in 2005.

"'Di ba sinasabi ni Mayor Duterte na pinapatay niya ang mga drug lord, pero ano’ng ginawa n’ya sa 8 Chinese nationals na ito? 'Nilaban niya na mai-release. Bakit daw? In the spirit of Chinese New Year, 'yun ang dahilan nya," he said on Monday in a press conference right after he faced Duterte's lawyer at the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) branch along Julia Vargas Avenue in Pasig City.

(Mayor Duterte emphasizes that he kills drug lords, but what did he do with these 8 Chinese nationals? He fought for their release. Why? In the spirit of Chinese New Year, that's his excuse.)

PANDORA'S BOX. Philippine Star's news item on Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte's release of the 8 Chinese businessmen involved in drug operations in 2005. Photo from the Office of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV

PANDORA'S BOX. Philippine Star's news item on Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte's release of the 8 Chinese businessmen involved in drug operations in 2005.

Photo from the Office of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV

"Ang tanong dito, baka 'yung mga kumpetensya ang pinapatay, baka lang ah. Pag-isipan natin 'yan," he said.

(The question here is maybe he is only going after competition. Just maybe. Something we need to think about.)

Trillanes made it appear that his camp already knows the source of the alleged billions of pesos deposited in Duterte's account, but refused to divulge details since their investigation is ongoing.

"We are piecing things together. This [needs] a deep and thorough investigation. You will be surprised how deep and big it is. That's why it's baffling to think that he could be the next president of the country," he said in Filipino.

The senator, who has been a staunch critic of top public officials such as Vice President Jejomar Binay and former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, stressed the need to reveal the truth about Duterte. He said that it would be hard to resolve this allegation if Duterte already assumes the presidency.

Affidavit

Trillanes showed up at the BPI branch at Julia Vargas Avenue early Monday morning to face Duterte's camp and get a copy of the mayor's transaction records.

The senator brought his affidavit on how he secured the documents against Duterte, which the latter requested as a condition for issuing a waiver to open his bank records.

As written in Trillanes' affidavit, a certain Joseph de Mesa saw documents that reveal Duterte is maintaining several bank accounts where "millions, if not billions of pesos" were transferred over time.

Affidavit of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV by Patty Pasion 

 

De Mesa, a former Duterte supporter, said that the documents were from a "close relative who was working with an agency involved in investigating ill-gotten wealth of government officials." The papers revealed that the bank accounts with BPI Julia Vargas, BPI EDSA Greenhills, and Banco De Oro in Mandaluyong City were under the name of Duterte and his daughter Sara Zimmerman Duterte. 

The camp of the Davao City mayor sent lawyer Salvador Panelo with a Special Power of Attorney (SPA) instead of Duterte’s waiver. 

According to Trillanes, the SPA only authorized looking into Duterte's balance, which does not include his account's transaction history.

“Ako ay nagbigay ng affidavit, pero hindi pa rin pumirma ng waiver si Duterte at hindi rin binuksan ang kanyang account," Trillanes said in a statement.

(I issued an affidavit, but Duterte did not submit a waiver to open his account.)

"Mayor Duterte is hiding something from the public. And he cannot deny my accusation that he has a P2.4-billion transaction in his bank accounts," Trillanes added in Filipino. – Rappler.com 

Patty Pasion

Patty leads the Rappler+ membership program. She used to be a Rappler multimedia reporter who covered politics, labor, and development issues of vulnerable sectors.

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