PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has said his outspoken critic in the Senate, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, for the sake of ambition, could do anything, even assassinate him just to be President.
Describing Trillanes as a “wily” person, Duterte said he could have ended up dead like returnning from exile former Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr., assassinated at the Manila International Airport tarmac in 1983—had Trillanes ended up as his Vice President.
Duterte said his top critic once offered himself to be his running mate for the 2016 elections.
“I just could not surmise how a person like him, I just could not tell—you’ll be my vice president?” Duterte said in an interview over government-run television station PTV4.
“Soon after my inauguration, I could have not gotten off and already had a gun shot. I would have ended up like Ninoy Aquino,” the president added.
“[Trillanes] is very dangerous—he’s ambitious. He wanted to be vice president. But he’ll do anything to be President. Hey Filipinos, wake up,” Duterte added.
Hours earlier, Trillanes IV denied Duterte’s allegation his bank secrecy waivers would be of no use because some of the accounts had co-depositors who should also execute similar waivers for the bank accounts to be examined by the Anti-Money Laundering Council.
Trillanes also denied Duterte’s remarks that he earned millions of pesos while he traveled frequently to China around the time the Philippines lost control of the Scarborough Shoal.
“As I keep on stressing, AMLC has the power to access foreign accounts either held singly or jointly. That’s why I signed those waivers unconditionally,” Trillanes said in a text message to some newsmen.
“Duterte just keeps on burying himself in lies. He can’t even release bank details of these supposed offshore accounts other than those released by Erwin Tulfo and Mocha Uson,” he added.
“As for the Scarborough Shoal issue, the Ombudsman had dismissed the issue which was based only on a conspiracy theory of [Sen. Juan Ponce] Enrile,” Trillanes said.
The Ombudsman in June cleared former President Benigno Aquino III and Trillanes of treason and espionage charges filed against them for undertaking “backchannel” talks with China over territorial disputes.
Duterte likewise accused Trillanes of killing for profit.
Duterte had earlier accused Trillanes of treason when the country lost Scarborough Shoal to the Chinese in 2012, leading to an accumulation of alleged ill-gotten wealth to supposed off-shore bank accounts.
Citing sources from a “foreign country,” Duterte said Trillanes had several currency accounts in Shanghai, Zurich, Geneva and Singapore—all “flagged as having international transactions.”
Aside from these, the opposition solon allegedly had savings accounts in the Cayman Islands and British Virgin Islands.
Duterte likewise blasted Trillanes for allegedly having more than 200 consultants, from the disbursement acceleration program, which was found illegal by the Supreme Court in 2014 for improper use of savings and inter-branch transfer of appropriations.
“The choice was questioned by the Commission on Audit. It will be released. I would have it released because it’s wrong,” he said.
Duterte also alleged that Trillanes’ DAP allocation had risen to a P100 million because the former administration had “favored” him, and saw him as an ally for staging a mutiny against the government of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
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