MANILA, Philippines – The verbal approval of President Rodrigo Duterte was not enough, as the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) rejected the request of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV to release the President's "flagged or reported" transactions.
The AMLC, in a letter dated March 29, told Trillanes that it could not grant his request. Without a waiver, the AMLC would need to secure a Court of Appeals order to do that.
"We regret to inform that your request, which necessarily includes transactions on President Duterte's bank accounts, is not allowed under the Bank Deposit Secrecy Law," said Mel Georgie Racela, AMLC Officer-In-Charge.
"Without an authorized bank inquiry, the AMLC is in no position to have in its possession the bank records of, or to disclose, the bank transactions of anyone," Racela added.
Trillanes, in February, challenged Duterte to sign a waiver allowing the AMLC to release his transactions after he accused the Chief Executive of having P2 billion in secret bank accounts. Duterte, however, only gave verbal approval. (READ: Trillanes: Duterte's order to AMLC 'just political bluff')
Trillanes slammed Duterte for dilly-dallying and "hiding behind technicalities."
He said Duterte, as President, should have opened his accounts to the public to end questions on his credibility in fighting corruption.
"Dito 'nyo makikita nagsisinungaling muli si Duterte at nagtatago sa teknikalidad. So ito ang mamaya't mamayain namin na issue. Pagka 'di ipinakita ay talagang duda ng taong bayan ay nandudoon, na siya'y isang kurakot. Itong pinapalabas niyang anti-corruption drive, pagpapanggap lang 'yan," the senator said.
(This is where you'll see that Duterte is lying again and hiding behind technicalities. This is the issue that we will not put to rest. If he does not disclose his bank transactions, the public will continue to doubt, think that he is corrupt. His anti-corruption drive is all for show.)
If proven wrong, Trillanes said he would not just resign as senator as he earlier vowed. He said he would also have himself detained in any prison Duterte prefers.
"Kailangan kasi waiver. Ang gawin ni Duterte ay pumirma ng waiver. Marami ka pang drama, marami ka pang arte. Para malaman ng taong bayan ano ang totoo. So again, andudoon ang challenge ko: 'Pag mali alegasyon, magre-resign ako sa Senado. 'Di lang 'yan, magwa-walk in ako sa kulungan para 'di mo ko kailangan kasuhan. Kahit saan 'yung choice niya. 'Yun ang hamon ko, just to prove na totoo 'yung aking sinasabi," Trillanes said.
(A waiver is needed. Duterte should sign a waiver instead of resorting to drama and all sorts of antics. The public should know the truth. So again, I am challenging you: If my allegations are wrong, I will resign from the Senate. Not just that, I will walk into a prison of his choice so there would be no need to file a case against me. That's my challenge, just to prove that I'm telling the truth.)
"Tanggalin na niya ang duda. President siya, dapat wala siyang bahid ng duda (He should remove all doubts. He's the President, there should be no iota of doubt)," he added. – Rappler.com