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Trillanes to Duterte: Stick to the issue


MANILA, Philippines – Senator Antonio Trillanes IV on Friday, February 17, urged President Rodrigo Duterte to stick to the issue of his "questionable bank accounts" by accepting the challenge to make public his bank transaction history.

Trillanes made the statement the morning after Duterte vowed to resign if the senator can prove that the Chief Executive had at least P500 million in his bank accounts.

"President Duterte, marami ka pang sinasabi. Kung talagang wala kang itinatagong nakaw na yaman, tanggapin mo na ang hamon ko at buksan mo na 'yung transaction history ng bank accounts mo at kung mali ako, mag-re-resign agad ako bilang senador," the senator said.

(President Duterte, instead of just talking, accept my challenge and make public the transaction history of your bank accounts if you don't have any ill-gotten wealth. If I'm wrong, I would immediately resign as senator.)

On Thursday, Trillanes revived his allegation that Duterte had as much as P2.4 billion in his bank accounts not reflected in his Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) when he was mayor. He released supposed transaction records of bank accounts owned by Duterte, his 3 adult children, and his common-law wife, Honeylet Avanceña, from 2006 to 2015.

In a short pre-recorded statement released to the media late Thursday, Duterte said, "If Trillanes can prove his allegation that I have amassed P2 billion illegally or if that bank account under my name has a total deposit at one time of even just half a billion [pesos], I will resign as President immediately."

The President also urged the senator to "go to court and file the proper case."

On Friday, Trillanes reminded Duterte that he had already filed a plunder complaint against him as early as May 2016 – just days before the elections – which referred to the documents related to the President's bank transactions.

"Una, para sa kaalaman ng lahat, nagfile na ako ng plunder case against President. Duterte nung May 2016 pa at ginamit kong ebidensya ang mga hawak kong mga dokumento ukol sa questionable bank transactions niya. Kaya nananawagan din ako sa Ombudsman na paspasan na ang imbestigasyon nila tungkol dito," he said.

Chief Presidential Counsel Salvador Panelo said the documents Trillanes made public on Thursday are apparently "fake," just like the senator's previous allegation that Duterte did not declare a P211-million  bank account in his SALN when he was mayor.

"Kasi nga iyong mga sinasabi niya noon P211 million na may transactional details iyon eh, sinabi na ngang peke (The P211 million that he said before, with transactional details, that was said to be fake). You know, if you present fake documents in the first instance, then the second instance it's also fake. You lie in one, you lie in all," Panelo said in an early morning interview with GMA-7 on Friday.

Trillanes made the allegation about the bank account at the Bank of the Philippine Islands branch in Julia Vargas in Ortigas, Pasig City, in late April 2016, and dared Duterte to allow the bank to release his transaction history.

On May 4, 2016, Duterte only released bank certifications that he had P17,816.98 as of March 31, 2014;  P17,766.98 as of December 31, 2014; and P74,734.30 as of April 29, 2016. His co-depositor in the account is his eldest daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio. – Rappler.com