Fat accounts raps seen hurting DU30

Written by Alvin Murcia Sunday, 01 May 2016 00:00 font size decrease font size increase font size Print 6 comments

NO TEFLON CANDIDATE

The latest allegations on the fat bank accounts of PDP-Laban presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte will pierce through the teflon character of the candidate since it goes against his crafted image of an incorruptible crime fighter, a South China Morning Post (SCMP) story quoting a local analyst said.

Earl Parreno of the Institute for Political and Electoral Reform (IPER) said "Duterte has been a Teflon candidate for the longest time, having withstood attacks on his character but "this is different because it directly pertains to one of his major advocacies, which is anti-corruption."

"(Sen. Antonio) Trillanes's (IV) allegations will create doubts in the minds of the electorate unless Duterte explains it well," he said. The SCMP article said Duterte has built his reputation as an incorruptible crime fighter in more than 20 years as mayor of Davao City once known as the nation's murder capital and now considered one of the country's safer urban areas.

Trillanes called on Duterte to authorize the public release of his bank statements.

Under Philippines' law, all bank deposits are confidential and can't be opened without the consent of the account holder which can only be done through a waiver on the secrecy covering bank deposits.

"I challenge Mayor Duterte to sign this waiver. If he won't, let our countrymen be the judge," Trillanes said last Thursday.

"I will use this as a basis for an impeachment complaint," he added.

Trillanes, who is himself a candidate for vice-president, showed documents indicating Duterte had transactions totalling P2.41 billion across 17 accounts over the past nine years.

Duterte declared a net worth of P22 million in 2014. Duterte spokesman Peter Lavina said the allegations were "rubbish".

Lavina questioned the timing of the allegations which was "clearly meant to derail the advance of the presidential race front runner," he said. "The manufacture of lies in the Philippine election must have outpaced the output of our industrial goods."

Duterte's campaign manager Leoncio Evasco Jr. went a step further accusing President Aquino of orchestrating a last ditch "demolition job" against Duterte.

"Trillanes is but a pawn. The brain behind is MalacaAang," Evasco said.

Evasco stressed that the current administration has become "desperate" in boosting the candidacy of Liberal Party (LP) standard bearer Manuel "Mar" Roxas II who is trailing the polls.

"The Aquino administration is bent on thwarting a victory by Duterte," Evasco said.

"It is desperately trying to save the candidacy of Mar Roxas and is poised to employ all means, including massive cheating, to maintain the status quo," he added.

A former rebel priest, Evasco said they have been expecting "black propaganda" to become more vicious and intense as Duterte began to rise in the surveys.

PDP-LABAN spokesman Paola Alvarez said Trillanes' baseless allegations were dismissed by the statement made by Ayala Corporation managing director and chief financial officer Jose Teodoro Limcaoco.

Ayala Corporation is the sole owner of BPI.

"Our internal investigation reveals that there has been no such breach. I don't know where Sen. Trillanes got his information, but the graphic posted by (a newspaper) showing alleged credits, that is not a BPI document," Limcaoco's statement said.

"The deposit slip shown by Mar (Roxas) or the Inquirer is not a unique thing. All banks will show the name of the depositor on a deposit slip. We are committed to protecting client trust and preserving the trust bestowed on us by our clients all these years," he added.

"The BPI official's statement belies the claim of Senator Trillanes that Mayor Duterte has a big deposit at BPI amounting to P211 million," Alvarez said.

Alvarez said Trillanes should apologize to the public for peddling "a big fat lie," she added.

Duterte hits back

Duterte, for himself, said once Trillanes executes an affidavit for his claim on the P211 million undeclared wealth in joint BPI account with his daughter Sara, he would sue for libel and perjury.

"He also is culpable because he hacked at even added amounts to my and my child's account," Duterte told more or less 15,000 Bicolanos during a campaign rally in Naga City on Friday night.

As the election draws near, Duterte said, it is all black propaganda that are unleashed against him.

"I already requested lawyer Salvador Panelo to meet with Trillanes and open my bank account tomorrow," said Duterte referring to the former Army officer who led a group of 300 soldiers in the 2003 Oakwood mutiny.

Duterte added that his account only has P17,000 and they can dig it up.

The tough-talking mayor, who was in his feisty mode, said Trillanes, who traces his roots to Ligao, Albay, is a disgrace to the honorable Bicolano race.

"He travelled to China 16 times. After the 16th visit, we lost Scarborough and Spratlys then China started to fill up the waters and built structures," Duterte revealed.

Based on his verification with the Bureau of Immigation, Trillanes' contact in China is the People's Liberation Army.

Duterte further said Trillanes regularly received money from two former presidents Estrada and Aquino when he was in jail.

The PDP standard bearer also dared Trillanes to open his bank accounts as well to find out how much he pocketed from his China trips.

Duterte disclosed over the weekend that it has two accounts in the Bank of the Philippine Islands, one with a deposit of P17,000 and the other with P27,000, not millions as alleged by Trillanes.

Roxas gets into act

Acting on an expose by Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV that Duterte also have several hidden dollar accounts, the camp of Liberal Party (LP) standard bearer Mar Roxas decided to investigate if one of the dollar account really existed.

"$10 was deposited in one of these accounts and it showed that it was under the name of Rodrigo Roa Duterte and Sara Duterte. $10 was accepted; it was also an account in BPI," the Liberal Party candidate said.

The former Interior and Local Government Secretary noted that while the existence of the dollar account has now been exposed, Duterte has yet to either fully explain or fully acknowledge what is in the peso account.

Besides the dollar accounts, the Davao City mayor has been accused by Trillanes of having hidden wealth amounting to P211 million stashed at the BPI branch in Julia Vargas Avenue in Pasig City.

Duterte earlier denied the existence of the said account only to recant and admit it Thursday.

The front-running presidential candidate, who also earlier urged his rivals to open all their bank accounts, then decided not to sign a bank secrecy waiver and stated that he would only do so if and when a case has already been filed in court.

Source: Tribune