President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday said that he "invented" the bank account number Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV used in his bank waiver. PCOO/Released
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday admitted that he "invented" the supposed bank account of Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV in Singapore allegedly to "catch" him.
Trillanes early on Tuesday went to Singapore to disprove the bank accounts that the president claimed he allegedly owned.
The senator, a fierce critic of the president, was told by the teller in DBS that no account with the number 178000296012 existed.
From DBS, he tried looking for the HSBC branch at Raffles City Tower, but it had no office there.
"Pinuntahan naman namin ang HSBC sa Raffles Blvd. pero ATM lang ang meron doon. A quick check at the HSBC Singapore website showed that there is no HSBC Raffles Branch," he said.
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According to the president, he intentionally omitted some numbers from the account number to intentionally mislead the senator, one of his staunchest critics.
He said that Trillanes used the fictitious bank number in his bank waiver, making it fake and unusable.
"Inimbento ko lang 'to," the president said in his interview with Erwin Tulfo on state-run PTV-4.
"Produkto ng isip ko to. Tinanggalan ko lang ginamit mo. Nag-issue ka ng waiver. Ang waiver mo iba ang account number iba ang totoo."
Trillanes said that he welcomed the "admission" of the president that he was "lying" about his bank accounts.
"To begin with, nanalo siya base sa propaganda at kasinungalingan," he said.
READ: Duterte still refuses to sign bank waiver, but admits co-owning bank account with Sara
"Sana naman maliwanagan na ang mga kababayan natin na naloko at patuloy na niloloko sila ni Duterte."
The president said that he knew that banks would not issue any certification containing information about their depositors and accused the senator of deluding the public.
The president said, "Walang gumagawang bangko niyan. Mga Pilipino niloloko kayo ng isang tao na pinag-aral ninyo sa PMA."
Trillanes had returned several times to Singapore and closed his accounts in Hong Kong, according to Duterte, without elaborating on his latest claim.
He said that he would eventually release the real account numbers of the senator in due time as their release was being hindered by the government's bureaucracy.
The chief executive said that Trillanes should explain the source of his wealth, hinting that the senator may have benefited from the Disbursement Acceleration Program controversy during the administration of former President Benigno Aquino III.
"Senador wala kang isang bangko na dineposituhan mo? Saan pala yung kinita mo sa DAP," the president told Tulfo, the brother of Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo, as he revealed that DAP-related cases are already being prepared against several government officials.
Trillanes has been one of the strongest critics of Duterte since the campaign period last year.
In May 2016, he accused the president of owning P211 million in the branch of the Bank of the Philippine Islands in Julia Vargas, Pasig City.
Then, in a Senate panel investigation into the smuggling of illegal drugs into the country, he accused the president's son, Paolo, and son-in-law, Manases Carpio, of owning several local bank accounts bearing hundreds of millions of pesos.
The two presidential kin turned down the senator's challenge to sign a bank waiver allowing scrutiny of the bank accounts Trillanes bared in the Senate.
Duterte more than a week ago accused Trillanes of owning offshore accounts allegedly meant to hide his illegal wealth.
READ: President Duterte gives details about alleged Trillanes wealth
The senator issued 12 bank waivers to authorize the Anti-Money Laundering Council and the ombudsman to probe the accounts.