Duterte's bank bait for Trillanes has no sense: analyst

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 20 2017 04:59 PM

Senator Antonio Trillanes IV and President Rodrigo Duterte. Composite

MANILA- President Rodrigo Duterte's move of inventing bank account numbers to "catch" his critic, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV simply made no sense, a political analyst said Wednesday.

Former dean of the Ateneo School of Government, lawyer Tony La Viña, said Duterte's credibility may be questioned after he admitted that he lied. 

"It doesn’t make sense. There’s no bait there. It actually gave Sen. Trillanes an opportunity to have a propaganda coup," La Viña said in an interview on ANC.

"Shouldn't we now not believe in anything that he says? That seems to be the message here: 'Don’t always believe me'," he added.

The President earlier publicly alleged that Trillanes had offshore accounts, prompting the senator to fly to Singapore to prove that his supposed bank accounts there did not exist.

Hours after Trillanes' Singapore trip, Duterte said he intentionally gave the wrong number of the senator's alleged bank account to “catch” the senator for lying. 

La Viña said Duterte was on the losing end of his scuffle with Trillanes since the President did not have to go down to the level of his critics.

"He made himself equal to a senator. He doesn’t have to do this… Why does he go down to the level of his critic and in a lower position than him?" La Viña said.

Trillanes on the other hand, was able to make use of Duterte's lie to better his political image since he knew from the start that the President was lying, La Viña explained.

"Of course Sen. Trillanes knew this was fake. He would know his own account number if there was such. And since there’s none, he exploited to the maxim with all the visuals," he a said.

"I think Trillanes came very, very well from this episode. [It appeared that] here’s a good-looking senator, young, and he goes after a powerful president… that’s what he does and that’s what comes out," he added.