Duterte confirms existence of BPI accounts

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Presidential candidate Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte initially called Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV's accusations as "garbage." But on Thursday (April 28) Duterte confirmed he has accounts in Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) in Julia Vargas and other banks.

Earlier this week, vice-presidential bet Trillanes accused the presidential frontrunner of not declaring his wealth in his statement of assets, liabilities, and net worth (SALN). Trillanes said the mayor and his daughter Sara allegedly own a P211-million joint account in BPI Julia Vargas branch in Ortigas Center, Pasig City. The funds supposedly came from deposits made during Duterte's birthday in 2014.

Trillanes said, in an interview with CNN Philippines on Thursday, the P200 million is only the tip of the iceberg and the mayor is truly a billionaire.

 

"Itong P200 plus million is just the tip of the iceberg ha. Yun lang yung pumasok ng 2014. Pero we are still verifying the other deposits in his name and it is so much more than P200 million. Believe me, bilyonaryo itong si Mayor Duterte," he said.

[Translation: This P200 plus million is just the tip of the iceberg. That's what was deposited in 2014. But we are still verifying all the other deposits in his name and it is more than 200 million. Believe me, Mayor Duterte is a billionaire.]

But Duterte denied he owns millions of pesos in his accounts, contradicting what Trillanes accused him of having, saying the accounts only have thousands of pesos in them.

"Meron ako sa BPI, hindi ganon kalaki. Thousands lang. It could not go beyond even. Well, 'yung isa 17 [thousand], isa below 50 [thousand]."

When asked if he declared these bank accounts under his SALN, Duterte responded, "Mukhang 'other bank accounts.' Hindi specific."

[Translation: It seems it was declared under 'other bank accounts.' It was not specified.]

Trillanes challenges Duterte

Trillanes, in a press conference, challenged Duterte to sign the waiver at BPI Julia Vargas branch on Monday (May 2). The senator said he will be waiting for Duterte there at 11 a.m.

Duterte responded to the media that he will not give in to Trillanes' challenge. He, however, challenged the senator to make an affidavit under oath stating where and when he got the information and for what purpose.

"I have a message for Trillanes: marami akong deposito sa iba't ibang bangko, but I will ask him to make a statement under oath, affidavit, saan niya nakuha ang impormasyon na 'yan, kailan, for what purpose, and how was it. File siya ng kaso, buksan ko 'yan."

Trillanes to resign if accusations false

Trillanes said he will resign from the Senate if his allegation against Duterte is proven false.

"I stand by the information na hawak ko at inilabas sa media. Ito ay vinerify at vinalidate natin... Pumirma siya ng waiver, kapag mali ang aking allegation magre-resign ako sa Senado. That is how confident I am with the information I have," Trillanes said.

[Translation: I stand by the information we have and released to the media. It was verified and validated. He signed a waiver. If my allegations are wrong, I will resign from the Senate. That is how confident I am with the information I have.]

Duterte's spokesperson Peter Laviña said the mayor cannot sign a waiver for a "non-existing account," and Trillanes' allegation is only a smear campaign against the man who is leading the presidential pre-election surveys.

 

Durterte and his running mate Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano publicly signed a waiver last March 11 to open all their bank records to public scrutiny, even daring their opponents to sign it as well.

But Duterte refused to make public his bank records, saying on Wednesday (April 27) he will not make it easy for Trillanes and he has to find his own evidences to prove his claims.

"I will not make it easy for him. Para magtrabaho siya. He’s a mercenary. Bayaran 'yan siya," Duterte said referring to Trillanes.

If Trillanes fails to prove his claims, Duterte said he will sue the senator.

The senator pointed out that failing to include the bank account in his SALN is a ground for impeachment if the mayor becomes president.

CNN Philippines senior correspondent Ina Andolong, correspondent Kristine de Guzman, and intern James Amante contributed to this report.