Duterte admits hidden accounts

Rodrigo Duterte’s remarkably successful campaign might be derailed by the financial claims. Source: Flickr


Philippine presidential frontrunner Rodrigo Duterte’s tough stance on corruption is looking superficial after his refusal to sign a waiver on the secrecy of his reported bank accounts containing 211 million pesos (US$4.5 million).

He later backtracked and agreed to allow his lawyer to open his account on Monday, while he campaigns in his native Davao.

Duterte has several undeclared property assets aside from his unreported millions in bank deposits, said Senator Antonio Trillanes.

Trillanes told the media that some of Duterte’s assets were in the country, which the Davao mayor had failed to declare in his Statement of Assets Liabilities and Net Worth or SALN.

Trillanes claimed Duterte’s family owned 41 property assets, including 34 in Davao.

The senator said he was verifying more allegations before revealing them, while estimating that the mayor’s three joint accounts with daughter Sara came to about 2.4 billion pesos.

Trillanes earlier alleged that Duterte’s had 211 million pesos in an undeclared account at the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) but the controversial candidate called the allegations “garbage”.

He later admitted the existence of the account but insisted that they did not contain millions of pesos as alleged.

Rather than addressing the charges, he challenged Trillanes to execute an affidavit and reveal the source behind his information.

The candidate, who happily jokes about rape and murder, said he was willing to open his bank accounts but only if Trillanes signed an affidavit.

The senator, however, rejected the challenge, saying he would not reveal his source and told Duterte to tell the truth about the bank accounts.

“Just to be clear, the opening of the account should not be limited to the current account balance alone. It should also include the transaction history for the past nine years,” Trillanes told the media.

Duterte has subsequently vowed to open his BPI account record to prove that he did not have P211 million.

He said his lawyer Salvador Panelo would appear at the BPI’s Julia Vargas branch on Monday to represent him and open the records of his accounts. He said that he expected Trillanes to be present at the branch.

The mayor said he did not accept “dirty money” but admitted that he may have given an incorrect amount.

“I could not say exactly because of the zeroes,” he announced.

Asked why he did not declare the bank accounts in his SALN, Duterte said: “I already spent it.”

He did not say where the money came from although he earlier said friends gave him money for his birthday.