Trillanes: Duterte a 'fraud,' didn't declare P211M in SALN
Senator Antonio Trillanes IV has called presidential frontrunner Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte a fraud for supposedly not declaring millions in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net worth (SALN).
Trillanes claims Duterte did not declare at least P211 million in his 2014 SALN, some of which are allegedly deposited in a joint account with daughter Sara in the Julia Vargas branch of the Bank of the Philippine Island (BPI).
"We are talking about somebody running for president who is pretending to be poor, but it turns out that he is a fraud," the senator said on Headstart Wednesday.
The vice presidential candidate said he got the information from his "network of informants."
“I’m really sorry, Karen, but I cannot reveal the source of my information; but this is easily verifiable," Trillanes said.
Duterte, who has been challenging other presidential candidates to sign the bank secrecy waiver, was challenged by Trillanes to do the same. He also dared the mayor to sue him for libel.
"We’ll see if he’d sign that bank secrecy waiver. For that matter, I will challenge him to sue me for libel because when he does then this bank account will now be the object of investigation, and therefore is exempted from the bank secrecy."
Trillanes said the undeclared P211-million is "just the tip of the iceberg."
"You would have no idea how wealthy Mayor Duterte is. Once we’re through with him, you’d be surprised, you’d be amazed about the wealth of the guy."
He also denied that this revelation is in effort to lift his dismal survey ratings.
"This information is not for the critics; it’s for the public at large—you have to know the leaders, or those who want to be the leaders of the country," he said.
"Initially, every time the media or the critics would doubt me, but cite an instance wherein I came up with false information later on. Eventually, everything checked out. I stand by my track record in exposing political pretenders like Mayor Duterte," he added.
If he is proven wrong, Trillanes said he will resign from the senate.
Meanwhile, Duterte's camp has dismissed the allegation.
"This is a fabrication; this is part of the 'trapo style' smear campaign being raised against Duterte who is now the frontrunner in our presidential race," said Peter Laviña on Dateline Philippines.
Laviña also stated that Duterte and his running mate Senator Alan Peter Cayetano "signed a waiver as early as March 11, during the height of the campaign, that any bank account here and abroad, in peso or dollar denominations."
He posted a photo of the waiver in his Facebook account, but also said that they “will produce the proper document if it is necessary,” but also maintained that "it is non-existent; how can we issue a waiver for a non-existent bank account?"
He also urged BPI to issue a statement on this.
"I think the alleged bank should issue a statement if such an account really exists, and the mayor would gladly turn over the money to Trillanes if that is proven."
But BPI "does not comment on queries of this nature," according to Tricia C. Quiambao, of BPI's Corporate Communications.
Laviña insisted that "the Duterte family has been living simple lives in Davao so all these allegations are baseless."
He said he is not privy to the contents of the mayor's SALN for 2015, but that he is confident Duterte will submit one soon.
He noted however that the mayor has publicly stated in a forum that he has an accumulated savings of about P6-million.
Laviña clarified that they won't pursue a libel case against the sitting senator, saying "why should we waste our time for such baseless accusations?"
"It is quite publicly known that Trillanes lacks publicity especially at this time; he is lagging behind on surveys. He is known for cheap tricks—he dares people, alleges and he backs out. He’s also trying to cover from the legislative immunity that he has," he said.