Prove bank accounts and I'll resign immediately, Duterte dares senator

Prove bank accounts and I'll resign immediately, Duterte dares senator
PHOTO: Reuters

President Rodrigo Duterte would resign "immediately" if Sen. Antonio Trillanes could prove his accusation that he had over P2 billion (S$57 million) in various bank accounts.

In a interview taped on Thursday at the presidential guest house in Panacan, Davao City, Duterte said: "This I can say: If Trillanes can prove his allegations that I have amassed P2 million illegally, or if that bank account under my name has a total deposit at one time of even just half a billion, I will resign as president immediately."

Earlier, Trillanes challenged the President to make public his bank transactions to disprove he had P2.2 billion in three bank branches from 2006 to 2015.

But the President said the accusation was "an old and rehashed issue."

"I have answered this allegation before I became president," he said, alluding to the campaign period during which Trillanes first made the accusation. "The people have already, they placed me in the office with 16 million votes."

He told the senator to go to court and charge him rather than talking to media.

"I would advise Trillanes to go to court and file the proper case against me and advise him further to stop opening his mouth if he has nothing to say anyway," he added.

'Lucrative business'

He has also belittled Trillanes's dare for him to resign.

The senator, he pointed out, is on his last term and would have no more political career to speak of after the end of his term. This would explain his penchant for always daring the President to resign, he said.

"Trillanes is already on his last term and will have nothing to lose if he resigns from office, which explains his penchant for always daring President[s] to resign," he said.

Trillanes, he added, also had his own illicit activities.

"It is known in the Senate that Trillanes uses his office to ask for retainers and that this has become a lucrative business for him," he said.

Wife got money from her businesses

The President defended his common-law wife, Honeylet Avanceña, whom Trillanes also accused of having millions deposited in the bank.

"This is amusing how Trillanes came up with his accounting," Duterte said. "He even included day-to-day transactions of my partner Honeylet. This just shows his ignorance with regards to banking business."

He said Honeylet worked hard for her money, unlike the senator whom he described as merely "ambitious."

"Trillanes, alam mo, iyang si Honeylet, started her doughnut business 18 years ago," Duterte said. "She supplies meat sa five malls dito sa Davao. Siya yung nagsu-supply ng karne ng baboy."

("You know, Trillanes, Honeylet started her doughnut business 18 years ago. She supplies meat to five mall here in Davao. She's supplies them with pork.")

"Diyan kalaki ang pera ng babaeng yan - matiyaga, hindi kagaya mo ambisyoso," Duterte added. "My mutiny-mutiny ka pa wala ka palang bayag. Tapos taas kaagad ng kamay pagdating ng pulis. Nakakahiya ka, sa totoo lang. Kung pamilya mo gutom noon o ngayon huwag mo kaming isali. Hindi kami kasing malas sa pamilya mo. Hindi kami mahirap, really. Tatay ko governer noon. May iniwan sa amin. Ikaw anong iniwan sa'yo? Hangin pati yabang. Tulisan ka sa totoo lang," he added.

("That's how that woman got so much money. She's patient, unlike you - you're ambitious. You dare to engage in mutiny when you don't have the balls. You immediately put your hands up in surrender when the police arrive. You're an embarrassment, really. If your family is getting hungry then or now, don't include us. We're not us unlucky as your family. We're not really poor. My father was governor before. He left us something. What was left for you? Just hot air and bluster. In truth, you're a bandit.")

Daughter earns as a lawyer

The President also answered Trillanes's allegations against his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sarah Duterte-Carpio.

"He must also have forgotten that my daughter Sara is a lawyer by profession and that she earns from this and that she has clients that actually pay for her services and not from illegal retainers that Trillanes is so used to so doing," he said.

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