Duterte: I have less than P200M in bank
Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte was evasive when asked on Friday about the P2.4 billion in transactions in his alleged 17 accounts in three banks, but was clear about his account at the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) branch on Julia Vargas Avenue in Pasig City.
“I have an account, with a little less than 200 million” Duterte said, referring to the BPI Julia Vargas account that, according to Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, contained P227 million in deposits.
Duterte gave flippant answers to questions about the P2.4 billion transactions reported by Trillanes, saying he could not exactly remember how much was in the accounts.
“I could not say exactly because of the zeroes,” he said.
Asked why he did not declare the bank accounts in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN), Duterte replied: “I already spent it.”
He did not say where the money came from, but earlier, he said friends gave him money as birthday gift.
Based on documents provided by Trillanes, Duterte had P2.407 billion in three banks (two in Metro Manila and one in Davao).
From 2006 to 2015, the record showed Duterte held seven joint accounts with his daughter Sara at BPI Julia Vargas, nine joint accounts at the BPI Edsa Greenhills branch and one joint account at Banco de Oro Unibank-1 in Davao City.
Duterte met with reporters in a Pasay City restaurant on Friday to announce that Cavite Gov. Jonvic Remulla, a former spokesperson for Vice President Jejomar Binay, had joined his team.
He also said that he had authorized his lawyer Salvador Panelo to appear at the BPI Julia Vargas branch on Monday to represent him and open the records of his accounts in response to Trillanes’ challenge made on Thursday.
He explained that he could not face Trillanes because he would be in Davao City on Monday.
In response, Trillanes said Duterte should show not just the current balance of his accounts, but also the transaction history covering years.
Trillanes said he would not accept it if Duterte’s camp would allow just a peek into the current account balance.
He said he suspected this was what Duterte’s lawyer would do to buttress the mayor’s claim that the accounts contained only a pittance.
Trillanes dared Duterte on Thursday to meet at BPI Julia Vargas to sign a waiver that would allow the disclosure of his bank accounts.
On Friday, Duterte urged Trillanes to execute an affidavit stating that he has records of the alleged bank accounts, and the manner and purpose with which the documents were obtained.
Duterte said Trillanes could be charged with perjury if he could not prove that undeclared wealth was funneled into the alleged accounts.
He added that the senator’s exposé is illegal, as it violates the bank secrecy law.
Panelo issued a statement yesterday saying that banks are prohibited from disclosing information unless ordered by the courts so the documents that Trillanes claims he has are “absolute fabrications.”
That Trillanes refuses to disclose the source of the documents shows the papers came from a polluted source, Panelo said.
“That he refuses to reduce into writing and under oath his allegations against Mayor Duterte validates the theory that Trillanes does not want—and is afraid—to be accountable for the falsities he has so viciously spread,” Panelo said.
But Trillanes said an affidavit was not necessary.
“He’s just looking for a way out. Why does he want to know who my source is? Will he have the [Davao Death Squad] go after the source?” Trillanes said.
What is important, he said, is the undeclared amounts in Duterte’s bank accounts.
BPI on Friday said it had nothing to do with the disclosure of the records of Duterte’s accounts.
“Allegations of breach of client confidentiality have recently been leveled at Bank of the Philippine Islands. Our internal investigation reveals there has been no such breach,” BPI said in a statement.
“BPI continues to have one of the most highly regarded data protection practices in the industry, and we are committed to protecting client information and preserving the trust bestowed on us by our clients all these years,” it said.
Panelo charged that Trillanes concocted the bank accounts story to boost his “cellar survey rating” in the vice presidential race.
No assault on Duterte’s character and reputation as a public official could stop the mayor’s surge and election to the presidency, Panelo said.
According to the documents provided by Trillanes, Duterte and his daughter Sara have 17 bank accounts that contain hundreds of millions of pesos.
At BPI Julia Vargas alone, father and daughter received total deposits and transfers of P1.74 billion. They had P667.24 million in total deposits in BPI Edsa Greenhills and P534,989.75 in BDO–Unibank (Account No. 1370020471).
The number of deposits and transfers in the three banks totaled 71, of which 23 were interbank transfers and 48 through credit memos.
The interbank transfers amounted to a total of P715.9 million, while those done through credit memos reached P1.69 billion.
The records showed that 48 deposits totaling P1.7 billion, including a deposit of $1.9 million, were recorded at the BPI Julia Vargas and Edsa Greenhills branches.
At the BPI branches, the highest deposit was P55,131,747.32 and the lowest, P953,511.29.
The bank records also showed that in several transactions the same amount was entered in two different accounts on the same day. For instance, P49.28 million was deposited in two different accounts at BPI Edsa Greenhills on May 22, 2007.
In another instance, four transfers of the same amount (P41.72 million) were made in just one day at BPI Julia Vargas.
On March 28, 2014, Duterte’s 69th birthday, seven transactions amounting to P193.71 million were credited to his account at BPI Julia Vargas.
That year, the BPI Julia Vargas accounts contained P227.41 million but was not included in Duterte’s SALN submitted to the Office of the Ombudsman for Mindanao on April 30, 2015.
All the accounts of father and daughter, except for the BDO Unibank, showed Ecoland Subdivision in Davao City and P. Guevarra Street in San Juan City in Metro Manila as their home addresses.
As mayor, Duterte receives a monthly pay of P78,946 (Salary Grade 30) under the government salary standardization law prescribed by the Civil Service Commission.
Failure to declare an asset is a ground for an official’s dismissal from government service.
In his 2014 SALN, 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.
Duterte earlier denied the existence of the BPI Julia Vargas accounts, but admitted on Thursday that he had two accounts there, one with P17,000 in deposits and another with less than P50,000. With reports from Leila B. Salaverria and Ben O. de Vera/TVJ
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