CAGAYAN DE ORO, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte late Saturday announced he will be dropping his own bombshell against his chief critic Senator Antonio Trillanes in the next few days: details of millions in bank deposits spread out across several countries.
Addressing over 900 businessmen at the 26th Mindanao Business Conference in Cagayan de Oro C ity, Duterte said he will expose Trillanes as a hypocrite who last week repeated his claim that the Dutertes had millions in various bank accounts when the former Davao mayor was running for President in 2016.
“And I can’t invent… I’m coming up with Trillanes – his bank deposits, all over. Ngayon, nakuha ko na, akala kasi niya hindi ko rin kaya eh [Now, I finally got the information. He probably thought I can’t get access to this],” Duterte said.
The President added: “So, I am giving you in a few days the number of deposits that he has with his — with Chinese joint accounts. It’s all over — Hong Kong, Australia, America, ‘yung ganun.”
Trillanes was quoted in a radio report as reacting to Duterte’s threat to expose him by tagging the President’s claim “fake news.” He dared Duterte to provide details of such alleged accounts, so he can issue a waiver.
The President reiterated his oft-repeated vow to quickly resign if anyone can prove that he is corrupt or abetted corruption among his immediate family. “Kaya sabi ko, ako [That’s why I said], I’m willing to resign immediately. I don’t have the illusions of the Presidency perpetuating in power.”
He recalled the allegation that Trillanes spread against him in the May 2016 campaign: “And they were foisting this lie that I was having 200 million, itong — itong anak ko ngayon, we were the favorite targets. Now, they have — during their time of the campaign, I told everybody, ‘You can go around up to the rural banks of Tawi-Tawi, if there’s one. Hanapin niyong pera ninyo, kasi kung nandiyan [Look for that money, because if it’s there], if it is true, I will withdraw my candidacy.’”
He added: “Now, I gave you my commitment when I won, there will be no corruption, as I have told you, and if you can smell one — with my daughter who’s the mayor of Davao City, and ‘yan si Pulong na may magsabi — huwag ‘yang hearsay na ganon, natatanggap [that Pulong: if someone makes a claim that can be proved, not just hearsay].”
He then took a dig at the Left, whose relationship with him has become rocky with the successive rejection by the Commission on Appointments of leftist members of his Cabinet. ‘Yang Left, isa pa rin. ‘Diktador.’ [The Left is another thorn in my side. They call me ‘dictator’]. Look, you ask me if I am happy being President now? I’m telling you, no. I am no longer happy.”
Duterte continued: “But because I was placed there by a mandate, with a sacred duty to run the country, I will just do it. I said there will be no corruption, and everybody has to follow, including Mindanao.”
At Thursday’s (Sept. 7) Blue Ribbon hearing into corruption at Customs and the P6.4-billion smuggling case of shabu that breezed through Customs’ Green Lane, Trillanes had claimed he received intelligence “from a foreign country” he did not identify, that the President’s son Paolo Duterte is a member of the Chinese Triad. He said Paolo can prove this wrong by showing the tattoo on his back, because membership in the Triad is validated by a tattoo with secret digits.
Trillanes said he can take photos of the tattoo, and send it to the US Drug Enforcement Agency where experts can “decode” it. If it’s not a Triad tattoo, Trillanes said, he can be proven a liar.
Paolo rejected Trillanes’ dare for him to bare his back, at one point replying in exasperation at the senator’s repeated suggestion: “No way.”
Trillanes also confronted Paolo and his brother in law Atty. Manases Carpio with sum totals of their alleged bank accounts, both running at over P100 million, but both rejected his dare for them to sign a bank secrecy waiver.