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'Checkmate ka na,' Trillanes tells Duterte

Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV said President Rodrigo Duterte should just allow the scrutiny of his alleged bank account after he was able to show that the Singapore bank accounts that the president alleged to be owned by the senator were nonexistent. Philstar.com/Efigenio Toledo IV, File

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV said it's a checkmate for President Rodrigo Duterte after the senator was able to prove that the Singapore bank accounts the chief executive alleged to be his were nonexistent.

Trillanes is in Singapore Tuesday together with some reporters to disprove the allegations that Duterte made more than a week ago that he owns several offshore accounts to hide his illegally obtained wealth.

The president claimed that Trillanes has "193,000" of unspecified currency in Account 178000296012 at the branch of DBS Bank in Alexandra Retail Center in Singapore.

Aside from this Singapore account, he also alleged that Trillanes had $75,000 or more than P3.8 million in a Zurich bank with account number 927519921320.

"Maliwanag na nagsisinungaling si Duterte at gawa-gawa lang nila ang mga paratang niya na meron akong mga foreign bank accounts," Trillanes said, adding that such presidential allegations were just meant to intimidate his critics.

"Mr. Duterte, pusoy ka na. Checkmate ka na. Wag ka na magpalusot," Trillanes said.

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He said that these unfounded claims were also a way for the president to divert the attention away from allegations that his son, Paolo Duterte, and son-in-law, Manases Carpio, were involved in the smuggling of billions of pesos of methamphetamine or shabu.

READ: Trillanes' supposed Singapore bank account 'does not exist'

According to Trillanes, the bank teller of the DBS Bank in Alexandra Center said that "no such accounts exist" when he inquired about the existence of the accounts mentioned by the president, state-owned PTV-4 broadcaster Erwin Tulfo and Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson.

Trillanes also asked if there was an account, either existing or closed, under the names "Antonio Trillanes IV" or "Antonio Trillanes."

"No such accounts exist" was the answer of the teller, according to the senator.

"Ito ay narinig at nasaksihan ng ilang media reporters na kasama ko sa pagtatanong ko sa bank teller," Trillanes, who has been very critical of Duterte since last year's campaign period, said.

He added that he then tried to go to a branch of HSBC at Raffles City Tower but the bank had no office there.

"Pinuntahan naman namin ang HSBC sa Raffles Blvd. pero ATM lang ang meron doon. A quick check at the HSBC Singapore website showed that there is no HSBC Raffles Branch," he said.  

Trillanes said that the president's revelation of his supposed offshore accounts was also meant to distract the public from his challenge to the president to sign a waiver that would allow the scrutiny of his alleged bank account in Pasig City.

In 2016, Trillanes accused the then mayor of Davao City of owning P211 million in an account with the Bank of the Philippine Islands branch in Julia Vargas, Pasig.

Duterte signed a waiver allowing Salvador Panelo, then one of his campaign lawyers, to request and receive any document that would show that the account did not contain the alleged amount at any point.

Trillanes countered that this was not enough because this would not show the account's transaction history, a claim Panelo denied.

The feisty senator also accused the younger Duterte and Carpio of owning hundreds of millions of pesos in several local banks and challenged them to sign waivers to allow the probe into these amounts.

The two refused the senator's challenge.

Trillanes signed bank waivers that would allow the investigation of his alleged accounts by the Anti-Money Laundering Council and the ombudsman.

The senator said, "Pumirma ka na lang ng waiver para malaman na ng mga loyalista mo kung gano ka kakurakot."

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