BANK accounts of people identified with the political opposition are now subjects of an investigation by the government, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said Tuesday.
Aguirre declined to provide details of the probe even as he admitted the investigation involved offshore bank accounts of “mostly yellow” personalities in Switzerland, Malaysia, and Australia.
“This is an ongoing investigation, I’m sorry, I could not tell you but many in the opposition (are involved) we have dug (up) these bank accounts of opposition personalities,” Aguirre told reporters.
Yellow is the color associated with the former ruling Liberal Party, which President Rodrigo Duterte has repeatedly accused of plotting his removal from office.
Aguirre said the Anti-Money Laundering Council was the agency to make the proper representation with the foreign banks holding the alleged deposits.
Duterte earlier accused opposition Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV of owning overseas bank accounts including in Singapore.
Trillanes Tuesday night identified the alleged “financial forensic expert,” who was the source of President Duterte’s expose of his “fake” offshore bank accounts which the government paid for P10 million.
Trillanes said a certain Daniel “Snooky” Cruz was the source of information of Duterte’s claim he had maintained hidden wealth in bank deposits in several countries abroad.
He said Cruz claimed to have strong connections in the US Embassy.
He also said Cruz posed as well-connected in the US embassy, a former federal agent and capable of having access to any bank accounts in the whole world.
Trillanes said Cruz was well-connected in Malacañang, as he showed photos of Cruz with Philippine National Police chief Ronald dela Rosa and the President himself.
A check of Cruz’s Facebook page also showed him with PNP Spokesman Chief Supt. Dionardo Carlos, whom he described as his “best friend.”
The opposition senator strongly debunked Duterte’s assertion he had unexplained wealth,
He even went to a Singapore bank named by Duterte as among the banks where the opposition senators maintained an account.
Based on his source, Trillands said Cruz sold the information and was paid P10 million, of which only P3 million was supposedly paid to Cruz.
“I have information that he sold it for P10 million. But actually only P3 million went to Mr. Cruz. So some middlemen earned something. I just don’t know who these people are,” related Trillanes.
He said the bogus information was given by Cruz to Malacañang last August 31. The senator also presented a photo of Cruz with Duterte taken on the same date.
“So we were able to catch them. Too good, there were some concerned PMAers in Malacañang who revealed to us about Mr. Cruz and gave me details,” said Trillanes.
Trillanes also presented Cruz’s photos taken with Duterte, presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo, and PNP chief Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa.
The senator said Cruz also tried to sell the same fake bank account details last year, but linked those to Sen. Leila de Lima.
Trillanes said Cruz stated the same DBS Bank and the Alexandra branch, where he was being accused of having an account.
He said the information on De Lima was sold last year to a Cabinet official of the Duterte administration.
However, when the alleged De Lima bank accounts were validated by a government agency, they were found fake so they were not released to the public.
“Mr. Snooky Cruz was undaunted. He just changed some details and sold it again to Malacañang,” he said.
As this developed, Trillanes renewed his call to Duterte to sign a waiver of the bank secrecy law and open his bank accounts to the public to disprove reports of his ill-gotten wealth.
Trillanes also strongly reacted to the government’s probe of bank accounts of critics of the Duterte administration and branded it as “pure harassment.”