Palace tells Vera Files: Prove Duterte took gifts worth millions of pesos
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Monday challenged independent media group Vera Files to prove that its allegations that President Rodrigo Duterte accepted gifts amounting to millions of pesos in 2014.
In a Vera Files story published Sunday, it said that on his 69th birthday on March 28, 2014, seven deposits totaling to P193,705,615.88 were made to then Davao City mayor Duterte’s BPI Julia Vargas account, which he shares with daughter Sara Duterte-Carpio.
Sought for comment, presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo questioned the report.
“Is that true? Does he (Vera Files) have any evidence to that effect? Eh andami nang nagsabi na si Presidente, ‘di ba ilang daang milyon meron siya pero ‘di naman totoo,” Panelo said in a Palace briefing.
“They say, one who alleges must prove. If you cannot prove, ‘wag ka na lang magsalita kasi naninira ka lang,” he added.
Vera Files said it “obtained the bank records from the Senate Record where former Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV submitted the documents.”
“These are the same documents that were submitted to the Office of the Ombudsman when Trillanes filed a plunder case against Duterte,” the report said.
Trillanes revealed in 2016 that Duterte has at least P211 million in the bank, which was not reported in his 2014 Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (Saln).
Duterte earlier said at a police service anniversary that there was nothing wrong with policemen accepting “gifts” out of gratitude from people who are grateful for their works.
Does the President accept gifts?
Panelo said, “Ang alam ko kapag may nagre-regalo sa kanya, pianapa-diretso niya sa Office of the President.”
“In other words, it will be the government of the Philippines that will receive the gift. Hindi siya, hindi personal. Hindi siya tumatanggap ng personal,” he added.
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