Duterte fires back, tags Trillanes bandit
PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has called Senator Antonio Trillanes IV a bandit for using his office to secure fees from retainers.
“It is known in the Senate that Trillanes uses his office to ask for retainers and that this has become a lucrative business for him,” Duterte said in a recorded statement sent to reporters on Thursday night.
He made the statement following Trillanes’ accusations that he amassed P211 million illegally, and that he had more than P2 billion in his bank accounts.
He vowed to resign “immediately” should Trillanes succeed in proving that he had P2 billion.
He played down the claims of the “ignorant” Trillanes as he defended his common-law wife and his daughter from his allegations, saying they had the means to make money on their own.
“If Trillanes can prove his allegation that I have amassed P2 billion illegally, or if that bank account under my name has a total deposit at one time of even just half a billion, I will resign as President immediately,” Duterte said.
“This is actually an old and rehashed issue. I have answered this allegation before I became President. The people have already spoken. They have placed me in the office with 16 million votes.”
Duterte made his statement even as Malacañang on Friday described as “very dramatic” Trillanes’ claim that Duterte knew about the extortion mess at the Bureau of Immigration.
“His accusations are very dramatic,” Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella said in a radio interview.
“I don’t know if we [will] dignify that with any comment.”
Duterte told Trillanes, who had also vowed to resign if his accusations proved wrong, to prove his allegations in the proper forum.
“I would advise Trillanes to go to court and file the proper case against me and advise him further to stop opening his mouth when he has nothing to say anyway,” Duterte said.
Trillanes on Thursday also challenged Duterte to disclose his bank transactions from 2011 to 2015, but this time he included Duterte’s ex-wife Elizabeth Zimmerman, his partner Honeylet and his children.
Duterte defended his common-law wife Cielito “Honeylet” Avanceña who, he said, worked hard for her money.
“You know, Trillanes, Honeylet started her doughnut business 18 years ago,” Duterte said.
“She supplies meat to five malls here in Davao. She supplies them with pork. That’s how that woman got so much money. She’s patient unlike you―you’re ambitious.”
Duterte said his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara, “is a lawyer by profession” who, he said, makes money by offering her services. With PNA