‘No bank account? I invented number’
PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday night admitted “inventing” the numbers attributed to the alleged bank accounts of his political nemesis, Senator Antonio Trillanes, claiming he intentionally misrepresented them to catch his lie.
“Binasa ko, binawasan ko ng number… Wala ito, imbento lang [What Mocha [Uson] and Erwin [Tulfo] and what I’ve read — I removed some numbers. Really, its my invention],” Duterte said in a live television interview hosted by Tulfo Tuesday.
Duterte said Trillanes’ actual account number at Singapore’s DBS branch in Alexandra Road was 11780-00261-60-2, and not 1780-00296-01-2 as what he, Uson and Tulfo claimed, and was eventually reported and picked up by the media.
Duterte also claimed the account’s alleged balance of “193,850” was a work of his mind just to catch his lies.
The President, however, did note that Trillanes, according to his foreign government sources, was already moving money from his Singapore bank accounts “since September 8” and questioned why he did not have a bank account here in the Philippines.
The President branded the Trillanes’ visit to Singapore as a “desperate” move, just to posture as a clean person.
The President claimed a foreign government which he did not identify gave him the information since they were “mad” at him.
He also nixed the suggestion of his nemesis for him to sign a waiver, saying in Filipino: “Uto-uto ba ako g*** ka ba.”
On Tuesday, Trillanes went to Singapore just to refute Duterte’s allegations that he had bank accounts there.
Bringing his passport and a printout of a document being circulated on social media detailing his alleged account, Trillanes went to the DBS Bank on Alexandra Road and asked the branch manager to check on the status of the account numbered 178000296012.
After a few minutes of checking, a teller told Trillanes that there was no such account.
Asked where he got the account details, Trillanes said he was being accused by the President of the Philippines of owning such an account.
The branch manager talked to Trillanes for about 10 minutes, but said he could not issue a certification that the alleged account did not exist because Trillanes was not a client.
Trillanes also went to the Raffles City Tower and showed journalists accompanying him that the business directory showed no listing for Hongkong Shanghai Bank, The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited or HSBC.
Documents circulated by Ben Tesiorna, owner of the Davao Breaking News Facebook page, and shared by Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson and journalist Erwin Tulfo alleged that the senator opened an account with “Hongkong Shanghai Bank” in its Raffles branch in Singapore in July 2013.
The account number 0016729915127, they said, had a balance of SGD 278,300 as of Aug. 30, 2017.
Trillanes also checked if there were any HSBC branches in the Raffles area, but found only an automated teller machine in Marina Square.
Trillanes earlier said he would file libel charges against Tesiorna, Uson and Tulfo.
On Friday, Duterte claimed that he received a reports of Trillanes’ supposed bank accounts in Zurich and Singapore.
“The US bank account number 927519921320 in Zurich has a balance of $75,000 or P3,801,385.05. The DBS account number 178000296012 in Singapore has a balance of 193,000,” he added, without stating the currency.
“A closer look on his bank account documents in Zurich and Singapore reveals the name Antonio F. Trillanes. Check on this name because the senator’s complete name is Antonio Fuentes Trillanes,” Duterte said.