Trillanes: I'll 'walk into jail' if wrong about Duterte bank accounts

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Updated to include Trillanes' response to Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 12) — Senator Antonio Trillanes IV is willing to go to jail if President Rodrigo Duterte is proven to be clean.

Speaking to CNN Philippines' The Source, Trillanes reiterated his challenge on Monday for Duterte to open his bank accounts.

"I have been challenging him to write a waiver similarly and if proven wrong, I am going to resign immediately. And not only that, I'm going to walk into any jail he prefers... without even a trial," he said.

The statement comes after the senator signed waivers to probe offshore bank accounts where Duterte alleged Trillanes kept money.

According to Trillanes, the waivers were based on social media posts of broadcaster Erwin Tulfo, Presidential Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson, and Ben Tesiorna who owns Davao Breaking News.  He said he would file libel cases against all three.

Related: Trillanes disputes offshore account allegations, issues waivers

The opposition senator also noted that some of the banks mentioned, particularly a certain "Nova Scotia Bank" and "Hongkong Shanghai Bank," were misidentified or don't even exist.

There is only a Bank of Nova Scotia, more popularly known as Scotlabank, based in Canada. There is also the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, more popularly known as HSBC, which has branches in the Philippines.

"That's just to show how sloppy the demolition job was done. They can't even get the name of the bank right," Trillanes scoffed.

He said he wants to invite representatives of the Ombudsman and the media to accompany him abroad to prove he had no accounts there.

"I'm going to put a definitive closure on this because my objective is to shatter the credibility of Mr. Duterte. I will show to the world not only that I don't have bank accounts abroad, but that Duterte is a liar," he said. 

Trillanes is also willing to open the local bank accounts to prove that he is clean.

"The President should challenge me again for a specific bank that I have hidden millions or billions there. I'm going to sign a waiver outright. But I'm going to issue again the challenge," he stressed.

According to his 2016 statement of assets, liabilities, and net worth, Trillanes is the poorest of the senators, with a total worth of about P6.5 million.

Waivers valid abroad

Trillanes disputed claims that the waivers he submitted to the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) would not apply to banks abroad.

"The AMLC is actually authorized to access the international banking system... so they can access even offshore bank accounts," he explained.

According to a Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas briefer on the Anti Money Laundering Act of 2001, the AMLC is authorized to "require and receive covered or suspicious transaction reports from covered institutions."

Among these institutions are banks and offshore banking units.

Duterte waiver an 'alibi'

In response to Trillanes, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo on Monday said the President was already transparent with his bank account.

"The same has been done a long time ago particularly in the first week of May, 2016 with the BPI as regards his allegation that [Duterte] has P211 [million] in his savings account. The waiver remains valid," he said.

He was referring to a special power of attorney (SPA) Duterte signed last year in response to questions about his wealth. The document allowed Panelo to request and receive bank certificates from Duterte's account at the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), but information about the account was not released.

Related: BPI Julia Vargas face-off a dud: No records released

Trillanes dismissed the SPA as an "alibi."

"There's nothing in that special power of attorney that says that he is obliged to divulge it publicly because he never did," he pointed out.  "[Panelo] said the BPI would take at least 7 days to release the documents requested. But more than a year from now, we have yet to see the documents given by BPI."

Trillanes recalled that Panelo refused to give Trillanes a copy of the documents BPI would issue.

Bank officials also said they could issue a statement of account detailing transactions of the past six months.

"They could have issued, right then and there the BPI officials' offer. Sabi ni Panelo, 'No no. I don't want that. You stick to the SPA,'" the senator recalled.

Panelo reiterated on Monday that the BPI certification "is to the effect that he has no P211 [million] in his account whether at the inception of the account, in the middle of it or at the present balance whether made singly, collectively, and cumulatively."