Philippines Report

Duterte lawyer: Up to BPI to open account

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte's lawyer on Monday stated that they have asked the Bank of the Philippine Island's (BPI) branch in Makati City to reveal the amount in the presidential candidate's accounts.


Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte's lawyer

It will take seven days for BPI to certify that the Duterte account never contained P211 million.

Lawyer Salvador Panelo, who wields a special power of attorney from Duterte, told reporters in an interview that he requested BPI Julia Vargas branch to prove that the Duterte account did not have a total of P211 million as alleged by vice presidential hopeful Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV.

“I went to the bank and I had them receive the special power of attorney of Mayor Duterte authorizing me to look into the records of his bank account and to ask the bank for a certification that at no time since the opening of the account has there been P211 million whether singly, collectively, or cumulatively deposited to his name. ‘Yun ang hiningi ko sa bangko,” he said.

Duterte is on the campaign trail outside Metro Manila and sent his lawyer instead in a face-off with Trillanes.

“Tinanggap ng bangko yung SPA, tinanggap nila ‘yung request na mag-issue ng certification pero ang sabi nila sa akin, humingi sila ng panahon na pag-aralan nila ‘yung aking request o ‘yung request ni Mayor Duterte. They asked for seven days to respond to our formal request,” he said.

Panelo, however, did not clarify if seven days meant working days – considering that the May 9 election is one week or seven days from Tuesday.

He said that the bank will have to study the request.

Not a standard certification

“Unang una daw, ‘yung certification parang hindi standard. Wala pa daw silang naalala na nag-issue sila ng certification na walang amount na ganyan sa loob ng isang deposito,” he said.

“Kami nga nakikiusap sa bangko. We're demanding from this bank, becasue of the presence of this SPA, to release the account – mag-issue ka ng certification based on your bank record na walang P211 million,” he added.

Panelo said that the account currently has a balance of P17,666.

“(The) current balance is P17,660 presently. Itong account na ito dormant ito, hindi na nagagamit ito,” he said.

After presenting the special power of attorney from Duterte, Panelo asked the bank for a certification of the amount of deposits in Duterte's accounts.

“Naghamon si Trillanes na buksan. Tinanggap ang hamon. Pero ang sabi ng bangko, pag-aaralan muna dahil may legal issues,” he said.

BPI officers explained to Trillanes during their meeting inside the branch that the request could not be immediately granted because of certain protocols.

Panelo claimed that after the meeting he was able to prove that Trillanes' allegation about Duterte's billions of pesos in bank deposits was a fluke.

“Hindi lang ito kuwentong kutsero, kuwentong barbero pa,” the lawyer said.

Trillanes' affidavit

Trillanes had accused Duterte of having P2.4 billion in bank deposits.

The senator challenged Duterte to meet and ask the BPI Julia Vargas branch in Pasig City to open his bank accounts.

In a separate interview on GMA News' “Balitanghali,” Trillanes called Duterte a coward for failing to issue a waiver to open his bank accounts.

He said he brought an affidavit as required by Duterte, but the presidential hopeful still did not produce a waiver.

Instead, Panelo asked the bank for a copy of the transaction balances of the account.

Trillanes emphasized that Duterte declined to provide the transaction history of the account.

But Panelo downplayed Trillanes' affidavit.

“Tinanong ko si Trillanes ‘Totoo bang tao si Joseph de Mesa?' Pero hindi niya masabi kung totoo ‘yon,” Panelo told reporters.

Trillanes cited in his affidavit that De Mesa was his source of information on Duterte's alleged millions.


Philippines Report


Source Credit: GMA News

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