It was a throwback of sorts on Thursday, February 16, as Senator Antonio Trillanes IV revived his challenge to President Rodrigo Duterte to "prove him wrong" that he had as much as P2.4 billion in his bank accounts not declared in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth when he was mayor.
"Ilabas mo ang tapang mo dito. Ipakita mo na mali ako (Show how brave you are now. Prove me wrong)," Trillanes said in a news briefing where he distributed copies of documents he obtained from concerned citizen "Joseph de Mesa," after validating their authenticity.
Trillanes, among Duterte's staunchest critics, alleged that the President had accumulated P2.4 billion in several Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) accounts, one at the branch in Julia Vargas in Ortigas, Pasig City.
It's the same allegation he made during the 2016 campaign period when the senator, running as an independent vice presidential candidate, accused Duterte of corruption during his stint as Davao City mayor.
This time, however, Trillanes provided to media the supposed transaction records of bank accounts owned by Duterte, his 3 adult children, and his common-law wife, Honeylet Avanceña, from 2006 to 2015.
Trillanes said he was reviving the issue of Duterte's bank accounts supposedly because his questions remain unanswered. The senator, whose term ends in 2019, said he is willing to step down from his post if his allegations turn out to be a dud.
"Sinabi niya na papatunayan niya. Wala naman, 9 months na. So, Mr President, panahon na [na sagutin ito] at mamaya't-mayain kita. Hindi ko bibitiwan ang isyu na ito," Trillanes said.
(He said he would prove me wrong. But nothing has happened and it's been 9 months already. So, Mr President, it's time [to answer this] because I won't stop reminding you. I won't let go of this issue.)
The bank accounts listed under Duterte are mostly accounts owned alongside his children, two of whom are also elected officials in Davao City – Sara is the mayor while Paolo is the vice mayor.
Trillanes said the money that went into Duterte's accounts – a mix of inter-account bank transfers, purchases of insurance policies, credit memos, and deposits – were not just from campaign contributions, and allegedly "showed a pattern of behavior" of corruption.
He said among the notable transactions were those involving Davao City businessman Sammy Uy, the President's friend and campaign contributor, who reportedly gave a total of P120 million to members of the Duterte family.
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SOURCE: CNN, RAPPLER