Updated 23:35 PM PHT Tue, February 21, 2017
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Challenge extended. Challenge accepted.
Speaking at the Baguio Country Club, President Rodrigo Duterte told members of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class of 1967 on Friday evening that he had ordered the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) to release information on his net worth — in response to a challenge by Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV to open up his bank accounts and prove that he did not have billions of pesos.
"I've ordered AMLC and everybody to give information (on) what's my worth in this, in terms of pesos in this planet...so hindi ko kayo hiyain [I will not put you to shame]," Duterte said, referring to the fact that he is an adoptive member of PMA Class '67.
He said this was "a matter of principle and honor," alluding to the military academy's adherence to integrity.
The President added he and his family had never been involved in corruption — as what he promised during the presidential campaign.
He also mentioned that aside from his salary, he didn't even avail of his allowances.
"And it will be so until the end of my term," Duterte said.
On Thursday, Trillanes told the media that he had information that Duterte and his family had various bank accounts totalling ₱2 billion.
The senator said he would resign if Duterte could prove him wrong.
On the evening of the same day, Palace Communications office released a video of Duterte throwing back the challenge to Trillanes — also saying he would step down immediately as president if the senator could prove his allegations.
Trillanes: AMLC order a 'political bluff'
Trillanes said Friday night that Duterte's instruction to AMLC means little.
"Political bluff lang yang panawagan niya sa AMLC kasi alam niya na hindi naman ito gagalaw basta-basta nang walang formal written request," he said in a statement. "At kahit na meron man, hindi mandato ng AMLC na magbilang ng net worth ng sino man."
[Translation: His order to AMLC is a political bluff because he knows that the body won't just move without a formal written request. And even if it had one, it is not the AMLC's mandate to compute anyone's net worth.]
Trillanes said Duterte should instead sign a bank secrecy waiver that would allow the public access to his transaction history.
"Tama na yang mga bola mo, Mr. President," he said. "Buksan mo na kung wala kang tinatago."
[Translation: Enough with your lies, Mr. President. Open your accounts if you have nothing to hide.]
Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo, who was also Duterte's lawyer during the campaign, said Thursday the waiver to access Duterte's BPI accounts is still valid.
"The documents signed by the President is authorizing the bank to reveal his account, so the ball is on the bank to do it," he said. "It has been valid ever since. It has not been recalled."