Trillanes to issue waiver on ‘foreign bank accounts’
Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, accused by President Rodrigo Duterte of hiding money in bank accounts overseas, is issuing a waiver for the foreign bank accounts he supposedly owns.
Trillanes on Sunday said he would present to the media today the waiver that would allow the Office of the Ombudsman and the Anti-Money Laundering Council to look into the “approximately” 16 foreign bank accounts ascribed to him.
He dismissed as “fake news” reports that he maintained bank accounts abroad.
He said his office was able to identify his supposed bank accounts from the social media blogs of Mr. Duterte’s ardent supporters — Assistant Press Secretary Mocha Uson and broadcaster Erwin Tulfo — as well as from a pro-Duterte website.
Trillanes announced that he would issue the waiver a day after Mr. Duterte claimed that the senator was keeping money “all over,” including Hong Kong, Australia and the United States.
Trillanes said he had never opened an offshore account. The last time he opened a bank account, he said, was before he was jailed for launching a coup attempt against President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in 2003.
Trillanes wished Mr. Duterte would give him the details of his supposed bank deposits overseas so he could issue a waiver.
But the senator said he would initially issue a waiver on the 16 foreign bank accounts that were mentioned in social media blogs.
“I will sign and present the waiver to disprove the allegation against me,” he said.
Trillanes said he would even go to the foreign bank to see if there was indeed an account under his name.
“I will ask for a bank statement if they have it. If they have none, I will ask for a certification that there is none and I will display it prominently. I will slap it on the face of (Mr.) Duterte,” Trillanes said.
The senator said he would go this far so he could “prove that (Mr.) Duterte is a liar and he is using the power of [the] government to malign and harass a member of the political opposition.”
The President made the accusation just as photos of supposed bank documents circulated showing remittances of $50 to accounts supposedly owned by Trillanes in Switzerland and Canada.
The same photos appeared in the blog of Uson.
Mr. Duterte on Saturday said Trillanes owned the accounts jointly with a Chinese businessman whom he did not identify. The businessman is reportedly engaged in trucking and has a business address in Metro Manila.
“President Duterte is doing this to destroy my credibility,” Trillanes said.
The senator noted that this was the same tactic the Duterte camp adopted whenever he made corruption allegations against Mr. Duterte and his family.
The senator’s latest accusation came on Thursday at the Senate blue ribbon committee hearing on the P6.4-billion “shabu” (crystal meth) shipment from China.
He said Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, a son of the President, was a member of the Chinese drug syndicate.
The senator also claimed that the younger Duterte and Manases Carpio, a son-in-law of the President, were part of the “Davao Group” that facilitated smuggling in the country and that the two men had huge bank deposits.
Trillanes also claimed that the vice mayor had a tattoo of a dragon on his back that indicated he was a member of an international drug and crime syndicate.
The younger Duterte admitted he had a tattoo but refused to show it, invoking his right to privacy.
Trillanes recalled that he accused Mr. Duterte during the 2016 presidential campaign of hiding at least P227 million in an account in a bank branch in Pasig City but the latter did not prove him wrong.
Just as the administration invented the case against Sen. Leila de Lima, now detained in Camp Crame for alleged illegal drug trading, it has come up with his alleged offshore accounts, Trillanes said.
He said this “fake news” came from the Office of the President and was the “sloppy” handiwork of senior classmen of the Philippine Military Academy.
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