April 26, 2018, 7:33 pm
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Trillanes waivers useless: Duterte

PRESIDENT Duterte yesterday branded as practically useless the waiver issued by Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV on his supposed offshore accounts, saying the government is now building a case against the opposition senator.

The President, in an interview after attending the wakes of two soldiers at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, repeatedly took potshots at Trillanes, from cracking a joke about him and his supposed insanity, to downplaying the statements and actions of the senator and warning him of possible cases.

Duterte said Trillanes’ waivers are useless without the agreement of his alleged co-depositors.

The President accused Trillanes last week of having offshore bank accounts with Chinese co-depositors in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Australia and the United States.

Duterte said Trillanes seems to have “perfected the art of crime” as he ensures that each account contains “less than the amount that would raise the red flag” with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and the Anti-Money Laundering Council.

He added that had he not been president, he might not have found out about Trillanes’ activities abroad.

Trillanes issued a dozen waivers to allow authorities to look into his alleged bank accounts. He also dared Duterte to do the same.

The President said he had already issued a waiver in the past and dismissed any need to issue a new one.

“If he wants to get evidence, do not get it from my mouth. You must be stupid, even if it is true or false…Why would I give you the pleasure? Kung gusto siyang maghanap, di maghanap siya.

Bakit niya ako dadamayin. (If he wants to look for evidence, he should look for it on his own. Why should he drag me into it),” he said.

Duterte said he is intent on revealing the details of Trillanes’ offshore accounts. “We are building a case. It’s hard because of the Bank Secrecy Law,” he said.

The President said Trillanes also has some Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) - related problem but did not elaborate.

“He has a DAP problem. Believe me, he has. That’s why I am wondering about the Ombudsman, that’s why I’m criticizing her. Why are you so selective? We don’t see any member of the ‘Yellow Group’ being exposed,” he added.

Duterte also continued to refer Trillanes as he talked about government’s war against illegal drugs and those who are allegedly trying to sabotage it.

“There’s  sabotage. Why would you have to kill a teenager? What’s your purpose? What will you get? Why would I do that to the Filipinos when I am their president? Why would I kill innocent persons? Who am I, Trillanes?,” he said.

Before the interview ended, the President cracked a joke at the expense of the Trillanes, whom he called “Trilling” (crazy).

But Trillanes told Duterte: “Marami ka pang satsat e pumirma ka na lang (Stop talking and just sign the waiver).”

He belied claims that the waivers he signed were not valid because the accounts had Chinese co-depositors. He said the waivers were complete.

He said the Anti-money Laundering Act could scrutinize foreign accounts and even joint accounts even without the waiver signed by another account holder.

On the “Trilling” comment, he said he will let the public decide who between he and Duterte is crazy. – With JP Lopez
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