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Trillanes to Duterte: Explain P2.2B in banks

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Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV press briefing at the Senate regarding Pres. Rodrigo Duterte bank accounts.
INQUIRER PHOTO/LYN RILLON

The common-law wife of President Duterte, Cielito “Honeylet” Salvador Avanceña, had almost P200 million in bank transactions in Davao City between 2004 and 2009, according to Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, who vowed on Thursday to resign as senator if he was proven wrong.

Citing a new set of documents, Trillanes also claimed that Avanceña, Mr. Duterte and his three children by his former wife, Elizabeth Zimmerman, received almost P120 million from Sammy Uy, a campaign contributor, from 2011 to 2013.

At a news conference in the Senate, Trillanes renewed his call for the President to keep his promise during the presidential campaign to make public his bank transaction history to disprove he had P2.2 billion in transactions in three bank branches from 2006 to 2015.

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“I’m confident in issuing such a challenge because I’m very certain about the authenticity of these documents,” he said.

“Show us your courage. Show us that I am wrong … . For the sake of your supporters, show us that you are clean,” he said, addressing the President.

New documents

The new set of documents Trillanes released came from the same source who gave him in April last year papers showing that Mr. Duterte had P2.2 billion in bank transactions from 2006 to 2015.

In an affidavit he executed in exchange for the then presidential candidate to issue a waiver of his account at Bank of Philippine Islands (BPI), Trillanes identified his informant as one Joseph de Mesa, a “concerned citizen” who had a relative connected to a government agency.

On Thursday, Trillanes said Mr. Duterte’s lawyer then and now his chief legal counsel, Salvador Panelo, had said BPI would issue the transaction history of his client’s bank account at a branch in Pasig City after a week but nothing was released up to now.

Asked why he was reviving the issue, the senator said it was about time for the President to fulfill his promise to open his bank accounts.

He said the President’s account at BPI’s Julia Vargas branch in Pasig City had been validated when some reporters deposited money in the account to prove its existence.

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Accounts cleaned

But after his exposé, the bank accounts were “cleaned,” Trillanes said. Still, he said the transaction history of the accounts could not be erased.

He said he was compelled to raise the issue anew because of recent “relevant” developments showing that the President had done nothing to fight corruption, one of his campaign promises.

He also cited the release from detention of former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and moves by Solicitor General Jose Calida to have the conviction and imprisonment of Janet Lim-Napoles, the alleged mastermind of the P10-billion pork barrel scam, for serious illegal detention of whistler-blower Benhur Luy overturned.

Honeylet’s 176 transactions

A document on Avanceña listed chronologically 176 transactions of her bank accounts at BPI Davao Main, Metropolitan Bank and TCO Davao, and Philippine National Bank-Bangoy from July 14, 2004, to March 4, 2016.

The transactions (such as cash deposits, interaccount transfers, time deposit predetermination-credit memos, deposit-checks and  credit bills) totaled P187,597,085.90.

The biggest transaction happened on Dec. 29, 2014, when a cash deposit of P4,349,709 was made to Avanceña’s BPI Davao Main account, the document showed.

There were other transactions involving P4 million. The smallest amount transacted was P500,000.

Asked about Avanceña’s bank accounts, Trillanes said that these were all deposits (credits) and that he had supporting documents to prove these.

“That is why I’m putting my being senator but also my life on line. You know the President is a killer and I will not fight based on bogus information,” he told reporters.

Another document that Trillanes provided showed bank transactions of Samuel Cang Uy, who he said was in the export-import business and a campaign contributor of Mr. Duterte.

The document listed the purchase of manager’s checks and telegraphic transfers, among other transactions that Uy made.

The recipients included Avanceña and the President’s children—Sebastian Duterte, Paolo Duterte (now Davao City vice mayor) and Sara Duterte (Davao City mayor). The transactions from Oct. 25, 2011, to April 10, 2013, amounted to P118,176,767.38.

Avanceña received money from Uy four times and each transaction was more than P10 million for a total of over P42 million.

Also in four transactions with Uy, Sebastian Duterte got a total of more than P41 million, while Paolo and Sara received more than P19 million and P14 million, respectively.

Drowned during campaign

Trillanes said the issue of the bank transactions of Mr. Duterte’s family was drowned during the election campaign.

“But now that things have cleared up and people have started to think and have seen the kind of person the President is, they are more open-minded,” he said.

The senator said he was certain the Office of the Ombudsman had already asked for copies of bank transactions of the President by now since he had filed a plunder case against Mr. Duterte seven months ago.

He also said he was looking at other illegal activities that Mr. Duterte had engaged in when he was still mayor.

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TAGS: Antonio Trillanes IV, Bank of the Philippine Islands, BPI, Duterte hidden wealth, Duterte's bank accounts, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Honelet Avanceña, Janet Lim Napoles, Paolo Duterte, Rodrigo Duterte, Salvador Panelo, Sara Duterte-Carpio, Sebastian Duterte
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