Trillanes dares Duterte: 'Sue me'

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Trillanes dares Duterte: 'Sue me' 1
Senator Antonio Trillanes IV and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte. File/Composite

MANILA - Vice-presidential candidate Senator Antonio Trillanes IV on Tuesday challenged leading presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte to sue him for libel after he exposed the mayor's bank accounts.

"I challenge Mayor Duterte to file a libel case against me," said Trillanes at a forum organized by the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (FOCAP).

Trillanes, however, believes Duterte will not press charges because this would open his bank accounts to scrutiny.

"This guy is corrupt, this guy is a murderer, this guy has a sick mind," the senator said.

With less than a week before elections, Trillanes last Wednesday accused Duterte of not declaring over P200 million in his account in BPI-Julia Vargas branch in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net worth (SALN).

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

He further alleged that Duterte maintained 17 accounts which had P2.407 billion in total transactions, from 2006 to 2015.

Trillanes said the issues he threw against Duterte are gaining ground, especially with "soft Duterte supporters," but not with the staunch supporters of the PDP-Laban bet.

"I'm afraid that some people will be voting for this guy for the wrong reasons," he said.

After raising the issue of undeclared deposits, Trillanes now expects government agencies such as the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) and Ombudsman to investigate Duterte motu propio.

READ: Duterte camp won't reveal BPI account transactions for now

DUTERTE, COMMUNISM

Trillanes, a former Navy officer who spent years in jail for leading the 2003 Oakwood Mutiny, also warned that a Duterte presidency may suppress democracy.

"I believe the media people will be the first to be affected by his brand of leadership," Trillanes said, citing the situation in Davao City where Duterte has served seven terms.

"In Davao, there is no dissenting voice."

Trillanes earlier said Duterte is determined to declare a revolutionary government with the help of Jose Maria Sison, founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines.

READ: Duterte eyeing revolutionary gov't with Joma Sison - Trillanes

He also told reporters at the FOCAP forum that there is a military faction which is against "power sharing" between Duterte and communists rebels.

Sison earlier said a ceasefire between communist rebels and government is possible if Duterte wins the presidency. He said Duterte is a former Kabataang Makabayan (KM) member, a radical student movement set up in 1964.

The CPP leader, who has been in exile in The Netherlands since 1987, also said returning home is an option under a Duterte administration.

ACCEPTING GIFTS

Trillanes also slammed Duterte for allegedly violating the law when he supposedly accepted millions of pesos as "gifts."

He said the Code of Conduct and Ethical Practices for Public Officials and Employees prohibits government officials from accepting gifts of any sort.

READ: Did Duterte violate law in accepting 'birthday gift'?

Last week, Duterte was badgered by reporters to confirm if seven deposits amounting to P193.71 million entered his Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) account on his birthday in 2014.

The 71-year-old mayor merely gave a cryptic reply, saying: "Ibig sabihin niyan marami akong kaibigan na mayaman."

Pressed if the deposits were given as gifts, he replied: "Alangan naman na hinold-up ko?"

Duterte also said he has been spent these funds. "Wala na, ginastos ko na. Nag-happy-happy ako," he said.

Trillanes's tirades also extended to Duterte's claim that he will plant a Philippine flag on the islands off the contested West Philippine Sea. "It's corny and stupid," the senator said.

READ: Duterte wants to be a hero in dispute vs China

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