Trillanes denies owning luxury cars
MANILA, Philippines—Senator Antonio Trillanes IV strongly denied on Tuesday owning eight luxury cars, saying he only had a second-hand 1996 Nissan Terrano which he sold to bankroll his senatorial bid in 2007.
“The allegation of UNA that I owned eight luxury vehicles enumerated in their press release is a blatant lie. In truth, what I owned was a second-hand 1996 Nissan Terrano, which could not be considered a luxury vehicle. I sold the said vehicle in 2007 to help finance my senatorial campaign,” Trillanes said in a statement.
Trillanes was reacting to the United Nationalist Alliance’s (UNA) statement that he owned eight luxury vehicles — which included two Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs), five vans, and a big motorcycle–when he was a Navy lieutenant second grade.
UNA spokesman JV Bautista said the luxury cars were not included in the senator’s statement of assets , liabilities, and net worth (SALN).
But Trillanes said UNA’s claim was a “baseless and desperate move” by Vice President Jejomar Binay’s camp to divert attention from the corruption allegations being hurled at him.
“It is apparent that VP Binay’s camp is trying to revive an old issue, which has been already dismissed by the Office of the Ombudsman and the Makati Court. This matter was raised at the height of GMA administration, when the CIDG filed cases against us, including this issue, due to Magdalo’s corruption exposés against the said administration,” he said.
GMA is former President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo while CIDG is Criminal Investigation and Detection Group of the Philippine National Police.
“The cases regarding the alleged vehicles were dismissed because the documents the CIDG submitted in support of its allegation were found to be spurious,” said the senator.
Trillanes then answered point by point the issue raised by the opposition group regarding the eight luxury vehicles that he allegedly owned.
“I have never ever owned a Kawasaki motorbike. In fact, I have never driven and I do not know how to ride a motorbike, not even once in my life. My license restriction can easily prove this fact,” he said.
“As for the Pajero with license plate RIZ-222, the true owner thereof, a certain Darlito Roca, operations officer of Lydia’s Lechon, has surfaced to claim and acknowledge his ownership (of the car),” said the senator.
The five Delicas, Trillanes said, are owned by his mother, a businesswoman, who bought those vehicles from the proceeds of a P2-million loan she obtained from a bank in October 2000.
“Delicas were second-hand vans bought in Subic and are not luxury vehicles. In fact, they can be bought in lots for as low as P100,000 to P150,000 each. The intention was to operate a van rental service using these vehicles. These old vehicles, however, proved too costly to maintain. Hence, my mother opted to sell and dispose some of them,” he said.
“The very idea that I would buy five vehicles of the same model and make for my personal use is quite absurd and illogical. My mother’s van rental business was duly registered with the Department of Trade and Industry under her name and was properly stamped and licensed by the Caloocan City Hall,” he pointed out.
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