MANILA - Malacañang on Monday downplayed the resolution of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV asking the upper chamber to conduct an inquiry into the bank accounts of President Rodrigo Duterte and his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Trillanes’ move shows that he and his allies from the erstwhile ruling Liberal Party are bent on overthrowing the President.
Roque said the move against the President, who continues to enjoy high popularity ratings, could backfire.
“Mag-ingat sila. Habang pinipilit nilang tanggalin sa posisyon ang Presidente, magagalit sa kanila ang taumbayan. Baka ang people power laban sa kanila, hindi laban kay Presidente,” Roque said in a news conference in Malacañang.
In Senate Resolution 602 filed Monday, Trillanes urged the committee to look into the possible violations of the Anti-Money Laundering Act by the Dutertes.
Trillanes cited bank documents in a VERA Files report showing the President and his daughter's wealth which were allegedly not fully disclosed in their Statements of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth.
The bank documents, he added, allegedly show their undisclosed transactions exceeding P500,000.
Senator Francis "Chiz" Escudero, banks committee chair, however said the panel could only conduct an inquiry if the depositors would allow them to look into their bank accounts.
"Without it, we will always be hitting a wall because of the bank secrecy law,” Escudero said.
Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, president of the ruling PDP-Laban party, meanwhile said the Senate may not be the proper body to probe the President’s alleged hidden wealth.
"Before, he tried it against Pulong (Paolo) Duterte and Mans Carpio. Now it's the same thing against other members of the Duterte family," noted Pimentel who is also president of PDP-Laban, the political party of Duterte
"If he really has the evidence, then he should bring an actual case in the proper body. Senate is not the body for that. We are part of legislative action," Pimentel said.