Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV yesterday called President Rodrigo Duterte “corrupt and a coward” as he vowed to continue his exposés against the Chief Executive and his family until he is “destroyed with the truth.” Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV/Released, File
MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV yesterday called President Duterte “corrupt and a coward” as he vowed to continue his exposés against the Chief Executive and his family until he is “destroyed with the truth.”
“Just try. Give it your best shot. Do your worst because I will really run after you,” Trillanes said in response to Duterte’s reported threat to “destroy” him for his continued attacks against him and his family.
“I will not destroy you by fabricated information but I will destroy you with the truth,” the senator added.
The “fabricated information” Trillanes was referring to were the supposed 12 offshore bank accounts that Duterte earlier alleged the senator held in secret.
Last week, Trillanes accused Duterte’s eldest son, Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, and his son-in-law Manases Carpio of leading the so-called Davao group that allegedly operates a smuggling ring at the Bureau of Customs (BOC). Carpio is the husband of presidential daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.
Trillanes also accused Paolo in a previous Senate hearing of being a member of the Chinese triad, saying he received intelligence reports about a dragon tattoo on the vice mayor’s back.
Headlines ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1
The President said Trillanes was bent on destroying him and his family.
Trillanes presented to reporters copies of signed waivers that he gave to the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) and the Office of the Ombudsman authorizing them to examine all the 12 secret accounts that Duterte said the senator has in 12 banks abroad.
He said the waivers were to show that he had nothing to hide unlike Duterte who, until now, has yet to accept his challenge to issue similar authorizations to open his accounts to prove that he was not corrupt.
The lawmaker claimed Duterte keeps on trying to divert public attention whenever he raises the issue.
“If you’re really fearless, if you’re not corrupt, sign a waiver. But I know you won’t do that because you’re a coward to the truth. You’re corrupt, like your family,” Trillanes addressed Duterte in Filipino.
Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said the special power of attorney (SPA) signed by President Duterte when he was still a presidential candidate is still valid.
“The same (signing of waiver) has been done a long time ago, particularly in the first week of May 2016 with the BPI (Bank of the Philippine Islands) as regards his allegation that (President Duterte) has P211 million in his savings account. The waiver remains valid. The waiver issued by the (President) will allow the bank to divulge the transactional details of his account,” Panelo said in a text message.
Trillanes said a cursory examination of the supposed documents that said he has offshore bank accounts would show the banks, like the Nova Scotia Bank and Hong Kong Shanghai Bank, did not exist.
Accusing him of having secret offshore bank accounts, he added, was the “biggest blunder” the President committed in hitting his critics.
Trillanes also said he would file libel complaints against Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson, radio broadcaster Erwin Tulfo and Ben Tesiorna for spreading “fake news” about his alleged bank accounts.
“The era of fake news is over. The Duterte administration won because of fake news. But I’ll run after you,” Trillanes said.
The AMLC has no comment on the waiver issued by Trillanes over the 12 bank accounts being linked to him by Duterte.
Its secretariat cited Section 7 of Republic Act 9160 or the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001, which prevents any AMLC officer from speaking unless ordered by the court, Congress or an authorized government agency. – With Alexis Romero, Lawrence Agcaoili