Trillanes accuses Duterte of freeing 8 Chinese 'drug lords'

ABS-CBN News

MANILA -- Following his exposé on the alleged hidden wealth of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, Senator Antonio Triallanes IV on Sunday accused the leading presidential candidate of facilitating the release of eight Chinese nationals tagged in illegal drug trade back in 2005.

Speaking to radio dzMM, Trillanes said the eight foreigners were among the 10 people arrested on January 1, 2005, a day after a major shabu laboratory in Davao was busted.

Trillanes said that Duterte, who was then in his 15th year as the city's mayor, freed the eight foreigners "in the spirit of Chinese New Year."

"Alam niyo po ang ginawa nitong Mayor Duterte na pinapangalandakan niyang ipinapapatay niya iyung drug lords, inarbor po niya iyung walong Intsik, Chinese nationals. Ang dahilan niya po ay in the spirit of Chinese New Year," Trillanes alleged.

Trillanes lambasted Duterte for admitting to killing off petty criminals but failing to include alleged leaders of criminal organizations in his anti-crime war.

(READ: Kill the criminals! Duterte's vote-winning vow in Philippines)

Trillanes also hinted that Duterte only orders the criminals killed when it suits him. The senator, however, said he is not yet ready to expound on this.

"Dito niyo makikita na hindi niya ipinapatay iyung drug lord, inaarbor. Pero ngayon, may mga pinapatay ding pusher. Tanong dito e baka naman iyung kompetensya ang ipinapapatay," he said.

"Pag-isipan natin iyan. Pero, wala pa ako doon. Hindi pa ako ready."

A Philippine Star report on the detainees' release quoted Duterte as saying that some of them were either too young or too old to be deprived of their liberty.

Duterte also reportedly said that the eight Chinese nationals, including the parents of alleged shabu lab financier Allan Sy, were cleared of any involvement in narcotics manufacturing.

The mayor added that the only mistake of some of them was the possible violation of immigration laws in their prolonged stay in the Philippines.

Duterte was also reportedly concerned that their continued detention would have repercussions on the many Filipinos who were staying in China.

The eight were rounded up in a row of apartments in Bo. Obrero where Sy and his family were also residing.

Equipment and chemicals used in manufacturing shabu were also found in Sy's two warehouses in Barangay Dumoy.

The raided drug laboratories yielded over 100 kilos of high-grade shabu with a street value of over P300 million.

Among those released were Sy's parents Lin Qiong Xio and Shi Chunchang, who were in the city for a short visit. The six others were identified as Zhenyi Lu, Yashu Gou, Wendun Zheng, Lu Zixiao, Shi Chun Fa and Cai Lungna.

P2.4-B bank transactions

With less than two weeks before the May 9 presidential election, Trillanes last Wednesday dropped a bombshell by claiming that Duterte's accounts at the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI)-Julia Vargas Avenue branch contained P227.41 million (not P211 million as earlier reported) in 2014.

This was not declared in Duterte's Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net worth (SALN) that year.

Trillanes further alleged on Friday that a total of P2.407 billion was funneled into 17 accounts of the Davao City mayor in three banks, from 2006 to 2015.

Over the nine-year period, Duterte allegedly held seven joint accounts with his daughter Sara at the BPI branch in Julia Vargas Avenue, Pasig City; nine joint accounts at the BPI Edsa Greenhills branch; and one joint account at Banco de Oro Unibank-1 in Davao City.

Citing documents given by Trillanes, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported Friday that Duterte's accounts at BPI Julia Vargas alone allegedly received P1.74 billion in total deposits and transfers. The joint accounts at BPI Edsa Greenhills also received P667 million while the BDO-Unibank account had P534 million.

Trillanes said deposits and transfers in the three banks totaled 71, of which 48 were credit memos and 23 were inter-bank transfers.

Among these transactions were seven deposits amounting to P193 million, which were credited to Duterte's BPI Julia Vargas account on his 69th birthday.

Duterte has agreed to disclose his bank accounts at the BPI Julia Vargas branch, but his camp on Saturday said Trillanes must first execute an affidavit and name his sources before this can happen.

PDP-Laban spokesperson Paola Alvarez said it is unfair for Duterte to divulge the details of his bank accounts if Trillanes won't reveal the sources of his information which alleges that the Davao City mayor has millions of pesos in hidden wealth.

The representatives of Duterte and Trillanes will meet at the BPI Julia Vargas Branch on Monday morning.

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