Trillanes to quit Senate, VP race if claims vs Duterte proven false
Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV on Thursday vowed to resign from the Senate and withdraw from the vice presidential race if his claims that presidential candidate Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte did not declare at least P211 million in his 2014 statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) were proven false.
In a press conference at the Magdalo headquarters in Quezon City, Trillanes dared the tough-talking mayor to sign a waiver that will allow the opening and scrutiny of his bank accounts, and file a libel case against him if the allegations were false, as Duterte claims them to be.
“Ngayon hinahamon ko si Mayor Duterte, pirmahan mo ‘tong waiver na ‘to na sa ganoon malaman natin once and for all kung ano ang lamang nyang account mo sa BPI (Bank of the Philippine Islands),” Trillanes told reporters, as he dared Duterte to meet him at the BPI branch on Julia Vargas Avenue in Pasig City on Monday to personally sign the waiver.
(I am challenging Mayor Duterte to sign this waiver so that once and for all, his account at BPI would be open to public scrutiny.)
“Mag-re-resign ako sa Senado at mag-wi-withdraw ako sa pagka-bise presidente. Kapag nagkamali ako, wala na ako sa politika,” he said.
(I would resign from the Senate and withdraw from the vice presidential race. If my claims were proven false, I would no longer be in politics.)
Trillanes also vowed to spearhead an impeachment case against Duterte, who has been leading in the preference surveys less than two weeks before the May national elections, should he be elected to the highest position in the land.
“Gagawin ko itong basis for an impeachment complaint, ako ang mangunguna diyan,” he said.
(I would spearhead an impeachment complaint and I would use this as basis.)
Trillanes said Duterte had at least P211 million in an account at a BPI branch in Metro Manila in 2014, which he said the mayor did not declare in his SALN.
Duterte signed a pledge in March that would allow for the opening of his bank accounts for public scrutiny, but he backtracked from his earlier pronouncement to “make it difficult for Trillanes.”
“Not anymore. I’ll make it difficult for Trillanes. It’s just a piece of paper. You prove it. Why will I give it to him? I’ll take the waiver and I will tell him, ‘Prove it. I will not make it easy for you. I will not play into your hands. You prove it,’” Duterte said on Wednesday.
Trillanes said they used the pledge, however, the bank did not accept it as a formal waiver.
The senator said the P211 million was just the “tip of the iceberg,” saying that undeclared “hundreds of millions” have yet to be uncovered by accounting firms.
“Pwede siyang magtago sa legalities pero sa isyu na ‘to natanggal ‘yung tapang niya eh… Labas niya ‘yung tapang niya,” Trillanes said.
(He could hide from legalities but in this issue, his courage disappeared. He must show his bravery in this issue.)
Duterte called the allegations as “fabrication,” saying that Trillanes was a “dangerous man” and “money for hire,” and exploring the possibility of filing charges against the senator.
Trillanes taunted Duterte to file a libel case against him to pave the way for the opening of his bank accounts. “Mayor Duterte, please file a libel case against me,” he said.
“The Duterte campaign is based on a lie. It is a propaganda. Hindi po paraiso ang Davao. Si Mr. Duterte hindi po natutulog sa kulambo. Bilyonaryo po ‘yung mama (Davao is not a paradise. Mr. Duterte does not sleep inside a mosquito net. He is a billionaire),” Trillanes added.
Asked about the timing of his claims, the senator said he received information only last week through a “network of informants,” whose privacy he was trying to protect.
“Last week ko lang po ito nakuha through my network of informants. Maraming nagmamahal sa bansa. Apparently, nakikita rin nila ‘yung danger (in a Duterte presidency),” Trillanes said.
(I received this information only last week through my network of informants. A lot of people love our country. Apparently, they see the danger [in a Duterte presidency].)
“I’m standing by my reputation and track record… Don’t tell me I didn’t warn you. You have been warned. Lahat ng red flags lumabas na (All the red flags have come out),” he added.
Without going into details, the soldier-turned-senator also flashed a big spread of paper which he called a “mother document” before the media, which he said contained “all the details” and “collated information” on Duterte’s bank accounts.
Asked how Duterte’s wealth would compare to that of Vice President Jejomar Binay, Trillanes said Binay’s was of “different level.” It was Trillanes who led the months-long Senate probe on corruption allegations against the Vice President.
Duterte reported a net worth of P21,971,732.62—assets worth P22,971,732.62 and a liability of P1 million, a personal loan from a certain Samuel Uy—in his 2014 SALN.
Duterte held the account at the BPI branch on Julia Vargas Avenue in Pasig City jointly with daughter Sara, who used the maiden name of her mother, Zimmerman.
Records showed that on his 69th birthday last March 28, 2014, eight cash deposits totaling P197 million were credited to Duterte’s bank account at the BPI Julia Vargas branch.
Trillanes said the eight deposits consisted of P55,131,747.32, P41,721,035.62, P16,852,832.94, P16,852,782.94 and four P20-million transactions. The funds were remitted to the BPI account through interbank transfers. RAM
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