MANILA, Philippines. “Dito natin makikita na si Mayor Duterte ay matapang lang sa salita, pero sa katotohanan ay bahag ho ang kanyang buntot.” These were the words of vice presidential candidate Senator Antonio Trillanes IV against Mayor Rodrigo Duterte after a brief meeting with his legal counsel on Monday, May 2, at the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) Julia Vargas branch.
(This is where we will see that Mayor Duterte is just brave in words, but in reality he is a coward.)
Last week, Trillanes alleged that Duterte’s BPI bank accounts held P211 million and contained P2.4 billion in deposits. In response to his allegations, Duterte challenged Trillanes to execute an affidavit indicating his sources in exchange for signing a bank secrecy waiver.
But during their face-off at the BPI branch, Atty. Salvador Panelo, who was authorized by Duterte to open his bank accounts, only brought a Special Power of Attorney that “request for and receive, from the Bank of the Philippine Islands Julia Vargas Avenue Pasig Branch, bank certificates for BPI Savings Account No. 2433-0695-39 to show the current balance as well as the fact that at no time since the opening of the aforesaid Bank Account was there a deposit either singly or collectively of Two Hundred Eleven Million Pesos (P211,000,000.00).”
The said certification would only be released on May 11, two days after the national elections, since BPI needs seven days to process the request due to legal matters.
Based on Trillanes’s affidavit, he sought the help of accountants and financial specialists to determine how much money was deposited or transferred to Duterte’s bank accounts. He disclosed that the experts’ final tally showed a total of P2,407,272,103.75 flowed into Duterte’s bank accounts from 2006 to 2015.
He also revealed that he obtained the information from a certain Joseph De Mesa, a former supporter of Duterte who has contacts in an agency that investigates ill-gotten wealth of government officials.
Meanwhile, Panelo downplayed the affidavit of Trillanes, saying that that his information about Duterte’s alleged hidden wealth was double hearsay. According to him, De Mesa heard the information from another source.
Trillanes supports the candidacy of Senator Grace Poe, Duterte’s closest rival in the recent presidential survey.