On Wednesday, April 27, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV revealed that Davao City Mayor Rodrigo has P211 million in an account in the BPI Julia Vargas branch, but the presidential candidate denied the existence of the account on the same day. In a phone interview with the Inquirer, Duterte denies Trillanes’ claim, saying “I will not play into their hands by issuing a waiver. The account is nonexistent.”
BPI Account Is Non-Existent
This firm denial was further reinforced when Duterte’s spokesperson, Peter Laviña, also told the press that the said BPI account is indeed non-existent. In a sit-down interview with news anchor Cheryl Cosim, Laviña said that the bank account is merely a fabrication. “That is a non-existent account,” he answered. He added that Trillanes’ claims are a total fabrication so Duterte now refused to sign another waiver. On March 11, Duterte and running mate Senator Alan Pater Cayetano signed a general waiver allowing the public to look into their bank accounts.
When Cosim asked why Duterte won’t sign a waiver this time around, Laviña justified it by saying that a waiver has to specify the bank branch bearing the account. And he repeated that since the BPI Julia Vargas bank account is non-existent, the mayor could not sign a waiver.
BPI Account Is Validated
But on Thursday April 28, a concerned citizen tried depositing P500 into the BPI account number cited in Trillanes’ documents reported on the Inquirer, the deposit was validated. And the names listed as the account holders were those of Duterte and her daughter, Sara Duterte.
BPI Account Is Existent, But Contain Only Thousands
Soon after, Duterte took back his denial and admitted to having a BPI account at the Julia Vargas branch. But he said that it did not contain millions, as Trillanes has claimed. The presidential candidate that one BPI account only contained P17,000, while the other has less than P50,000, saying once more that Trillanes was only fabricating the details of his accusations. Duterte also dared Trillanes to file a case and only then will he open his bank accounts.
Account in BPI Has ‘A Little Less Than P200M’
On Friday, April 29, Duterte did not answer questions about the P2.4 billion transactions that Trillanes claimed to have gone through the mayor’s 17 accounts in three separate banks. However, he addressed the questions about his BPI Julia Vargas account. He said that the account contains a little less than P211 million.
When asked why he only admitted to thousands because he was confused with the zeroes, especially when Trillanes was already talking billions. A reporter asked why the money in the account was not included in his SALN, he said he already spent it. “Wala na, ginastos ko na. Nag happy-happy ako.”
What’s Going to Happen on May 2?
This has indeed turned into a bankserye as Duterte dared Trillanes to file a case and meet with Duterte’s legal counsel, Atty. Sal Panelo, on Monday, May 2, at the BPI branch on Julia Vargas Avenue. He said he already called the bank to open his account in front of Trillanes and Panelo as he will go home to Davao on Monday.
Let’s wait and see how the May 2 episode will turn out to be.