Trillanes calls Duterte 'liar'; won't present informant
Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News
A TEST OF CHARACTER: Senator Antonio Trillanes IV on Monday accused Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte of spinning a series of lies about his bank accounts, saying the presidential bet has lied about the ownership of the accounts, the amounts involved and even about signing a waiver to open his transaction history.
Speaking to radio DZMM, Trillanes defended his source - a certain Joseph de Mesa - after the Duterte camp described the information in his affidavit as "double hearsay." Duterte earlier said he will only open his bank accounts if Trillanes signed an affidavit and revealed his source.
Trillanes said he has no plans of presenting De Mesa in public.
''Why will I do that? If you have a source, will you show the source? Bago niyo pagdudahan ang source ko, tingnan niyo muna ang information. Everything has checked out so far. Tama ang branch, tama ang account number, tama ang name. Why are we questioning the source?" Trillanes told dzMM.
"Bilyonaryo pala itong si Mr. Duterte. The people should know this. What did I do wrong? You want me to sit on this information. I won't!"
The senator said his exposé on Duterte's alleged hidden wealth was a test of character and showed the mayor's true colors.
He said the mayor could have proven him wrong and with one simple move: reveal his bank transaction history to show if he had over P200 million in 2014.
"They have been doing this, constant lying...Ano ang nakita natin in this episode? Na sinungaling si Mayor Duterte and at the first instance na kinonfront siya, he lies. Nagsinungaling, sinabi hindi totoo yan. Pero nung naipit na at naghulog ang concerned citizens, na-obligang magsalita. Then he says P50,000 lang ang pera diyan. Then nag flip-flop na naman siya to a little less than P200 million. Inubos na raw niya dahil naghappy happy siya," he said.
He reiterated that Duterte's previous signing of a bank waiver last March was all for show because the mayor won't sign a real bank waiver for BPI.
With less than two weeks before the May 9 presidential election, Trillanes dropped a bombshell by claiming that Duterte's BPI Julia Vargas accounts contained P227.41 million which was was not declared in Duterte's Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net worth (SALN).
Trillanes also furnished the Philippine Daily Inquirer with bank transaction details showing that Duterte had P2.4 billion in transactions in different bank accounts from 2006 to 2015.
READ: Duterte accounts had P2.4-B in transactions: Trillanes
Trillanes then dared the mayor to open his account for scrutiny, saying he is willing to resign from the Senate if his claims are proven wrong.
The camp of the tough-talking mayor earlier said it would only issue a waiver on the BPI bank account if Trillanes would name his source.
Trillanes executed the affidavit and named De Mesa as his source.
In the affidavit, Trillanes said he met De Mesa at the Magdalo office in Quezon City last April 21 at around 8 p.m. It was during the meeting that De Mesa allegedly gave Trillanes copies of the bank documents showing the bank accounts of Mayor Duterte and his daughter, Sara.
"Mr. De Mesa said he got hold of the documents from a close relative who was working with an agency involved in investigating ill-gotten wealth of government officials," the affidavit read.
In the dzMM interview, Trillanes did not say which agency De Mesa's supposed relative was connected with.
''He was apparently protecting the agency concerned kaya ganyan lang. Nag-focus kami sa documents at hand,'' he said.
Trillanes said he would categorize De Mesa as ''B1'' in terms of reliability.
''In this case, since bago lang siya, but most likely credible, I would classify him as B1,'' he said.
''We did the legwork and it passed scrutiny. In fact, the subject, si mayor Duterte, already admitted it."
While Trillanes is standing by the credibility of De Mesa, the camp of the mayor called his affidavit ''double hearsay'' as the supposed source was also claiming to have gotten his information from another source.
NO TRANSACTION HISTORY
Trillanes left the branch of the BPI branch empty-handed after the bank asked for 7 more days to issue a certification on Duterte's accounts based on the request from the mayor's camp.
Lawyer Salvador Panelo earlier said the BPI Julia Vargas branch has confirmed to him that Duterte did not have P211 million in his bank account.
Trillanes earlier claimed that Duterte failed to declare P211 million in wealth in 2014. An Inquirer report, however, revealed that the amount was P227.41 million and not P211 million.
Panelo told ANC the bank asked for four to seven days to issue a certification "that at no time was there a P211-million deposit—whether singly, collectively, or cumulatively to [Duterte's] name."
Asked why he did not ask for Duterte's history of banking transactions, Panelo said: "They cannot even issue a certification, how can they release all documents. I am only asking for one document, certification coming from them."
READ: Duterte camp won't reveal BPI account transactions for now
In a separate DZMM interview, Panelo said he did not ask for the entire transaction history of Duterte's account since it would be time consuming.
''Ang hinihingi ko nga, isho-shortcut nga natin, kasi kung hihingin mo ang entire banking transaction, can you imagine ang gagawin mo kakalkalin mo lahat? Pero apparently, they were already ready, so pinag-aralan na nila, nakita nila na walang deposit na P211 million, whether singly, collectively or cumulatively,'' he said.
''Sabi ko alam niyo naman ganoon, bigyan niyo na ako ng certification. I'm demanding that certification because you already admitted to me na wala. Bakit kayo mahihirapan?"
Trillanes accused Panelo of lying and putting words into the mouth of BPI officials, but Duterte's lawyer said the senator was not around yet when the bank officials gave the confirmation.
Panelo also threatened to sue BPI if it would delay the issuance of the certification, saying: ''Kapag hindi niyo inisyu sa akin -- inaamin niyo naman palang wala -- in effect tumutulong kayo kay Trillanes. Sinisiraan niyo ang kliyente ko, idedemanda ko kayo."
Trillanes said getting the full transaction history of Duterte's bank account, but Panelo said this is no longer needed.
"You don't have to reveal the banking transactions of my client. What is important is that the allegation to the effect that he has that much amount—whether it was made at any stage of the account or not. They’re admitting that there is none. So the banking transaction or the history would be irrelevant," Panelo said in an ANC interview.