Duterte confirms existence of bank account

ABS-CBN News

Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte at the Makati Business Club forum on Wednesday, April 27, 2016. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA (UPDATED) - Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday confirmed that he has an account at the Bank of the Philippine Island (BPI) branch on Julia Vargas Avenue in Pasig City, just hours after his spokesperson denied its existence.

Duterte, however, insisted that the account does not contain P211 million as alleged by Senator Antonio Trillanes IV.

Speaking to reporters in Bataan, Duterte said he has several bank accounts, but none of these contain millions. He said two of his accounts contain only P17,000 and P50,000 each.

"Meron ako sa BPI. Hindi ganun kalaki. Thousands lang. It could not go beyond even... Meron isa 17 (thousand), yung isa below 50 (thousand)," he said.

"Malaki yan noon, naubos sa gastos," he added. "Di aabot ng milyon, I will assure you. Kailan ko pa kayo binola?"

But Duterte denied that his account at the BPI branch on Julia Vargas is a joint account with his daughter, Sara.

"Hindi (joint account)," he said, nodding when asked "So inyo lang yun?" 

"Ako lang, ako lang. Huwag na yung anak. Ako lang," Duterte said.

Sara, for her part, said in a text message to ABS-CBN News that she has no knowledge of the bank account.

"Si Mayor Rody lang po ang sasagot ng tanong. Wala po akong alam sa existence ng bank account," she said.

However, a copy of a deposit slip posted by journalist Ellen Tordesillas on her Facebook account shows that the account is owned by "Rodrigo Roa Duterte or Rodrigo Roa Duterte and Sara Z Duterte."

"A friend went to BPI an hour ago to find out if the expose of Sen. Trillanes on Duterte's account is true. Using the bank account number she saw in the Inquirer, she deposited P500. It's validated. The account is existing. Here's the deposit slip," Tordesillas said in her post.

NOT IN 2014 SALN

Trillanes, citing data from his "network of informants," has alleged that Duterte's joint account with Sara contains P211 million, which the mayor did not declare in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net worth (SALN) in 2014.

In his 2014 SALN, Duterte reported a net worth of only P21 million.

READ: Trillanes: Duterte a 'fraud,' didn't declare P211M in SALN

Duterte on Wednesday branded as "pure garbage" Trillanes' accusations and turned the tables against the vice presidential aspirant, calling him "a dangerous man."

"I am not a rich man," Duterte said. "Huwag kayong maniwala diyan. It's pure garbage."

"What I have is P200,000. Puro kabalastugan yan. Trillanes, he is a dangerous man. Kita mo ang porma maglakad, akala mo kung sino ang buang (crazy)," he added.

READ: Duterte calls Trillanes 'a dangerous man'

'NON-EXISTENT'

In an interview on ANC this morning, Duterte's spokesperson, Peter Laviña, denied the existence of the BPI account in the Julia Vargas branch.

Laviña also questioned why Duterte would open an account in Pasig City when he is based in Davao City.

"This is a non-existent account. As a lawyer, he would not issue any waiver pointing to a non-existent account," he said. 

The mayor's camp said Trillanes is only engaging in "cheap gimmicks" in an effort to boost his numbers in pre-election surveys. The senator has been lagging behind the five other vice presidential candidates in voter preference polls.

FILE A CASE, TRILLANES TOLD

During the interview, Duterte challenged Trillanes to execute an affidavit and reveal where and when he got his information and why he released it.

The PDP-Laban standard bearer said he will only open his bank accounts if Trillanes files a statement under oath.

"Nilalaro niya ako. Hindi ako uto-uto. Let's make it legal. Mag-file ka ng kaso, execute ka ng affidavit, buksan ko," said Duterte.

"Who is he to demand waiver?... Why would I accommodate him sa mga kalokahan niya?" he added. - With a report from Doris Bigornia, ABS-CBN News

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