MANILA - Senator Antonio Trillanes IV on Wednesday accused Malacañang of using intelligence funds to pay President Rodrigo Duterte's source of "fake" information on his offshore accounts.
Trillanes, in a privilege speech on Tuesday, claimed that Malacañang paid P10 million to a certain Daniel "Snooky" Cruz for information on the lawmaker's alleged bank accounts, including one at the Development Bank of Singapore (DBS).
The senator recently flew to Singapore to prove that the account was non-existent.
"Nag-imbento po ng fake accounts ito at ibinenta sa Malacañang na binili naman and without verifying or validating ay isinubo nila kay Duterte. At itong isa naman ay iyun ang pinangangalandakan kaya nasunog siya nang ilang beses at napaaming inimbento nga niya. Ang nagbayad ay Malacañang, binili itong information," he told DZMM.
"Malamang galing iyan (P10 million) sa intelligence funds... Hindi naman bubunot ang mga iyan sa bulsa nila," the opposition lawmaker told DZMM.
Cruz, he said, gives security seminars for a living, but had pretended to be a financial forensic expert and former US agent.
The senator said Cruz also sold to authorities fake details on the bank accounts of Senator Leila de Lima, which were just identical to his supposed accounts.
He added that it is Duterte who is keeping millions of pesos in undeclared accounts and reiterated his challenge for the President to sign bank secrecy waivers.
Malacañang made no immediate comment about Cruz.
Duterte meanwhile has admitted he just invented bank details to "catch" Trillanes.
He later said Trillanes closed his DBS account "online" before going to Singapore. DBS however said accounts can only be closed in person at its branches.
Duterte has also said his family had properties and businesses including an ice plant and lumberyard, adding his late father was a provincial governor.
"All in all it would not go beyond 40 million (pesos or $785,000), my lifetime savings. A part of that was my hereditary -- you people from Davao know this -- property," Duterte said. "I hate to say it (but) what do you think of us, poor? That we are that poor?"
The President, however, said he would not cooperate with the Office of the Ombudsman's investigation into allegations that he amassed ill-gotten wealth, saying these were "lies based on baseless" information.