Trillanes resurrects corruption issue vs Duterte, but this time links family
The online news portal of TV5
MANILA – (UPDATE 3, 11:49 P.M) Senator Antonio Trillanes on Thursday renewed his attack on President Rodrigo Duterte, citing records of alleged secret deposits across several years of transactions, amounting to more than P2 billion.
Unlike in the 2016 election campaign when he first raised it, Trillanes this time implicated members of the President's family and a businessman he described as a campaign donor.
Trillanes's allegations drew a sharp rebuke from Palace officials, Davao Mayor Sara Duterte, and Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, Duterte's running mate in the 2016 elections. Cayetano said Trillanes rehashed old, discredited allegations that he could not prove, and dared him to identify the parties who funded P20 million worth of negative ads against Duterte that Trillanes had television networks air in the homestretch of the 2016 campaign.
Trillanes said he had waited nine months for the Duterte camp to reveal the then-candidate's bank details on their own, as Duterte's lawyer promised when he first exposed the alleged bank account. But, added the senator, since the Duterte camp released nothing, he decided to release to media summaries of various transactions made by Duterte and his family from 2003 to 2016.
“I am reiterating my challenge to President Duterte to release the transaction history of his bank account and if my allegations were proven wrong, I would immediately resign as Senator,” Trillanes said.
Per the senator, among the alleged bank transactions made by Duterte and his families including a private person are:
1. Rodrigo Roa Duterte from September 18, 206 to December 1, 2015 – P2,207,257,961.79
2. Sebastian Zimmerman Duterte from November 20, 203 to April 1, 2014 – P143,493,236.76
3. Sara Zimmerman Duterte Carpio from April 14, 2003 to March 29, 2016 – P121,109,236.15
4. Paolo Zimmerman Duterte from June 16, 2003 to November 20, 2015 – P104,282,161.65
5. Cielito Salvador Avanceña from July 14, 2004 to March 4, 2016 – P187,597,085.90
6. Samuel Cang Uy from October 25, 2011 to April 10, 2013 – P118,176,767.38
Paolo, Sara and Sebastian are Duterte's children; Avanceña is his common-law partner.
Trillanes said Uy, whom he described as Duterte’s campaign contributor, gave almost P120 million to different members of the Duterte family from 2011 to 2013.
“There is one businessman in Davao City, a campaign contributor of President Duterte, and his name is Sammy Uy. He gave P120 million to different members of the Duterte family,” Trillanes said.
Allegedly, Uy gave Avanceña P10,655,372.81 on April 10, 2013; October 22, 2012; and on October 25, 2011 and P10,655,373.31 on April 23, 2012.
Uy also gave Sebastian Duterte the exact amount of P10,316,591.18, twice on October 22, 2012, and April 10 2012; and another P10,316,592.68 separately on April 23, 2012 and October 25, 2011, Trillanes said.
The campaign contributor also gave Paolo Duterte twice the exact amount of P9,703,609.39 on April 24, 2012 and October 25, 2011
Sara Duterte also received the exact amount of P7,440,846.07 on April 24, 2012 and October 25, 2011.
Sara Duterte hits back
From Davao City, presidential daughter, Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, hit back at Trillanes. “I never pretended to be what I am not. If Trillanes can show where my alleged PHP121 million is right now and how it became illegal, kunin natin at ibigay ko sa inyo lahat (let’s get it and I will give it to everybody),” Mayor Sara said in a press statement released Thursday.
Sara said she is deferring to her father, President Rodrigo Duterte, to answer the challenge of Trillanes.
”Let us allow PRD (the President) to decide on how he wants this issue to go down,” she said.
Trillanes said that Duterte and members of his family violated the law on the declaration of assets and liabilities, which is mandatory for all public officials including their spouses.
“Ito ay paglabag sa batas sa hindi pagdedeklara sa SALN, so ito ay culpable violation of the Constitution,” Trillanes said
Trilanes said he got the documents from a concerned citizen by the name of Joseph De Mesa.
“Sinabi nya mayroon siyang kamag-anak na nagtatrabaho sa isang ahensiya na mayroong ganitong dokumento, we validated the information, tinignan bago namin inilabas,” Trillanes said.
Trillanes said he renewed his call to Duterte by challenging him to belie the documents because it is relevant to the issue of Janet Napoles, who hit the headlines Wednesday after the Office of the Solicitor General filed a manifestation with the Court of Appeals seeking to overturn Napoles' conviction by a Makati court in the serious illegal detention case filed by pork barrel whistleblower Benhur Luy.
“Walang ginawa laban sa corruption, worse, pinakawalan pa ang ugat ng corruption at gusto pang palabasin si Napoles [They did nothing about corruption; worse, they even absolved the root of corruption and wish to have Mrs. Napoles freed],” Trillanes said.
The former Navy officer said he had information the source of the Duterte wealth are the intelligence funds of Davao City amounting to more than P1 billion a year, when Duterte was still mayor.
“Galing ito sa iba’t ibang sources pero sa aking complaint na inihain sa Ombudsman sa kasong plunder, ang source ay intelligence fund ng Davao City noong Mayor pa siya,” Trillanes said
Old issues, publicity stunt - Palace men
In a radio interview, Duterte's legal counsel, Salvador Panelo, dismissed the allegations as "old issues" and said Trillanes was "only looking for free publicity".
Duterte's spokesman, Ernesto Abella, said the President may release the history of his bank transactions, "if necessary", but not in response to the senator's allegations.
"It's a rehash of the items already discussed three days before the election," he said, adding the President was ready to release bank documents showing the balances and the history of the transactions, but "not in response to grandstanding".
It may be recalled that Trillanes opened the issue that President Duterte has PHP211 million in undeclared wealth during the final weeks of the campaign.
Then-candidate Duterte even challenged Trillanes to show up at the bank, saying he will open his bank account that allegedly contained the PHP211 million undeclared wealth on the condition that his accuser signs an affidavit and files a case against him.
President Duterte dared Trillanes to present himself before officials of BPI's Julia Vargas branch where Trillanes said the President has bank accounts.
The President was then represented by his legal counsel, lawyer Salvador Panelo.
Cayetano: Trillanes 'Kuryente King'
“The Kuryente King.” This was how Senator Alan Peter Cayetano described Trillanes whom he rebuked for once again throwing "false accusations" against President Duterte, with whom Cayetano ran as vice president in the 2016 elections..
Cayetano said the latest Trillanes accusation was another desperate attempt to stop the reforms happening under the Duterte administration.
“Marami siguro sa ilang padrino niya o nasa likod niya ay tinatamaan sa mga reforms na nagaganap ngayon [Most likely many of Trillanes' godfathers are being hurt by these reforms],” Cayetano said.
“We know from the start that Senator Trillanes is the ‘Kuryente King’ when it comes to President Duterte. If there is a power shortage and we tap into Senator Trillanes, we will never run out of electricity,” he added.
The senator reminded the public of how, during the campaign, the Duterte-Cayetano tandem was the only one who signed a bank secrecy waiver to make public all their bank accounts.
He wondered aloud why Trillanes is all of a sudden trying to revive an issue that had long been settled. He said there was nothing new with his colleague’s tirades, stressing how Trillanes is known for his constant attacks and baseless charges against the administration.
“Why is it that week after week, scheme after scheme, Senator Trillanes is trying to destabilize the government?” Cayetano said.
“From the start, he has done nothing but destroy people's reputations. We saw that in the [appointment] hearing for [Justice] Secretary Aguirre yesterday, it was all opinion. It's his self-righteousness and he thinks that's enough. But you need facts. You need evidence. You need concrete evidence when you accuse someone,” Cayetano added, partly in Filipino.
The senator turned the tables on Trillanes and dared him instead to explain where he got the funds he used for his anti-Duterte commercials aired in major television networks in the 2016 campaign.
“Until now he cannot explain where he got the P20 million he paid the [major television networks] for his commercials used to destroy President Duterte,” Cayetano said.
“He cannot explain where he got the money. Who were his backers during the campaign who were willing to pay tens of millions of pesos’ worth of negative ads? Until now he has not declared their identities."