Hidden wealth? Digong linked to 41 properties

Janvic Mateo - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Aside from bank accounts and transactions involving up to P2.4 billion, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte allegedly has 41 properties in his name across the country.

Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV furnished GMA News a list of the properties supposedly owned by Duterte, according to a report aired over “24 Oras” last night.

The same report quoted Trillanes as saying that Duterte has accounts in three banks that had accumulated transactions amounting to P2.4 billion.

In a statement, Duterte’s party PDP-Laban cried foul over the allegations of Trillanes, saying existence of properties does not necessarily mean that these were ill-gotten.

Trillanes earlier claimed Duterte did not declare in his 2014 statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) the P211 million supposedly deposited in a joint account with his daughter Sara in the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI).

The camp of Duterte initially denied the existence of the BPI account, but later backtracked after proof of its existence was uploaded online.

Duterte later said the bank account only contains a few thousand pesos, although reports yesterday said he was quoted as saying that it contains “a little less than P211 million.”

Trillanes, who is running for vice president, earlier said the BPI account is just the tip of the iceberg and that they are still validating other information about the mayor’s real wealth.

The senator hinted in the earlier interview about the supposed existence of the properties of Duterte, challenging the mayor to issue a waiver allowing the investigation of his bank accounts.

Duterte’s camp initially dismissed the challenge of Trillanes, but acceded yesterday, with the mayor saying he has ordered his lawyer to open the BPI account in question.

Dollar account too

The camp of administration presidential candidate Manuel Roxas II yesterday also bared the existence of a dollar account, also with BPI,  under the name of Duterte.

Roxas hit Duterte for being evasive on the issue of his undeclared bank accounts, including one that holds dollar deposits.

“He (Duterte) had said the accounts were fabrications, and now they’re proven to exist, he now refuses to sign the waiver to open his accounts. He’s always like that in any issue. If he’s confronted with the truth, he resorts to cursing, insulting others while trying to evade and change the issue,” Roxas said.

“Why don’t you want to sign a waiver now that you’ve been cornered and proven to have lied?” he asked Duterte.

“Tell the truth, mayor. The whole nation is waiting for the truth, nothing less,” he told reporters.

On Thursday, Roxas and his runningmate, Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo, signed waivers entitled “Affidavit of Transparency over all assets, liabilities, net worth, business interests and financial connections.”

The document authorized the Office of the Ombudsman to secure all documents from the Bureau of Internal Revenue and other concerned agencies on their finances.

It also waived their rights under the Bank Secrecy Law in favor of the ombudsman.

Roxas earlier disclosed he was able to deposit P500 in Duterte’s bank account that the mayor had earlier insisted was non-existent.

“Mayor Duterte, you’re lying again. When will we know the whole truth from you? When will we able to trust everything that you say?” Roxas said.

He said a “private citizen tried to find out the truth” by depositing P500 in a Bank of Philippine Islands (BPI) branch at the Alabang Town Center in an account supposedly held by Duterte, as reported in the media.

Roxas said the individual received a computer-generated deposit validation slip to prove that the account was under the name of a certain “Rodrigo Roa Duterte and Sara Z. Duterte.”

To check the claim of the private individual, Roxas said a member of his staff went to a BPI branch in the New Farmers’ Market in Cubao in front of his house to try to make another deposit in the same account at 2:02 p.m. as indicated in the validation slip.

He said his staff was also able to deposit $10 in another account held by Duterte, proving that he had a dollar account.  – Paolo Romero

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