Duterte threatens jail time for Trillanes

Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte MANILA – If he wins the presidency, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte will make sure Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV is put behind bars if information on the latter’s exposé would turn out to be false or illegally obtained.

Duterte made the threat on Friday when asked for his next move if Trillanes’ claim of more than P200 million in the mayor’s account is debunked tomorrow, when the account is opened in response to the senator’s challenge.

The camp of Duterte has promised to bare the mayor’s account with the Bank of the Philippine Islands on Julia Vargas Ave. tomorrow to disprove Trillanes’ accusation. Duterte’s pronouncement came shortly after his meeting with outgoing Cavite Gov. Jonvic Remulla in Pasay City.

Trillanes said Duterte did not declare his joint account with his daughter Sara that allegedly contained P211 million in his 2014 statement of assets liabilities and net worth (SALN).

The senator also accused Duterte of having P2.4 billion in his three accounts in Pasig, San Juan and Davao City. He also said the mayor has 40 properties, belying the latter’s claim that he is of modest means.

But Duterte said Trillanes was only trying to get back at him after he refused to have the senator as his runningmate.

He said he expects to draw more and fiercer black propaganda as his ratings in surveys continue to rise.

The mayor also called Trillanes shameless and crazy for using government funds to destroy his political opponents.

Duterte on Friday accepted Trillanes’ challenge to open his bank accounts and dared the senator to be present tomorrow morning at the BPI Julia Vargas branch so that the people would know who between them is telling the truth.

He said he has authorized his counsel Salvador Panelo to open his accounts in front of Trillanes, but stressed the senator – if he ever shows up – should have a sworn affidavit with him outlining his accusation against the presidential candidate.

He also challenged Trillanes to disclose his real intention for making the accusations.

Duterte said he would send Trillanes back to the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) if the latter becomes his vice president. He called the senator – a leader of a failed coup – a “mercenary frustrated soldier.”

Duterte also took a swipe at Liberal Party standard bearer Manuel Roxas II for challenging him to reveal his dollar accounts.

He pointed out Roxas should have chosen Trillanes and not Leni Robredo as his runningmate, saying the administration standard bearer has the same mindset as the senator.

He also lashed out at Roxas for being ungrateful, citing his generosity to the LP candidate when the latter visited Davao City when they were still friends.

The mayor said Roxas had never paid a single centavo for his favorite food in Davao City.

“Now he is accusing me of being a thief. When we were not yet political rivals, you accepted my offer of food, but now you’re accusing me of being a thief,” he said in Filipino.

“You never offered me food. But I gave you something to eat. You’re shameless,” he said of Roxas.

Duterte said he felt offended being compared by Roxas to the late chief justice Renato Corona who was impeached because of his failure to declare certain assets in his SALN.

“You’re running for president and you brazenly tell us lies. Ang sinungaling ay kapatid ng magnanakaw (A liar is brother to a thief). And maybe, they’re children of murderers,” Roxas said earlier, addressing Duterte.

But the mayor said it was “a statement of desperation” from Roxas.

In Davao City, Duterte’s campaign manager said the latest exposés against the presidential candidate are the handiwork of the Aquino administration, which is just using Trillanes as “pawn.”

“The brain behind is Malacañang,” Duterte campaign manager and Maribojoc, Bohol Mayor Leoncio Evasco. Jr. said yesterday.

“The Aquino administration is bent on thwarting a victory by Duterte. It is desperately trying to save the candidacy of Liberal Party standard bearer Mar Roxas and is poised to employ all means, including massive cheating, to maintain the status quo,” Evasco said.

He said the latest attacks on Duterte were part of a last ditch effort by the administration to destroy the credibility of the Davao City mayor, who is leading in popularity surveys of presidential candidates.

“They made the election a very dirty political exercise. They want it confined among the elite. They cannot stomach an outsider, one who has captivated the imagination of the people but does not come from their ranks,” Evasco, a former rebel priest, added.

He said they expect more black propaganda against Duterte as his ratings in surveys continue to rise just days before the elections on May 9.

On Friday, Pulse Asia released the result of its April 19-24 survey on voter preference, with Duterte enjoying voter preference of 33 percent, or 11 percentage points ahead of closest rival Sen. Grace Poe who got 22 percent. Roxas was third with 20 percent.

“Aquino and Roxas both belong to the landed elite who only have contempt against the majority of Filipinos clamoring for genuine and real change,” Evasco said.

“During the watch of P-Noy and Roxas, we saw how they remorselessly sacrificed the lives of our gallant police officers in Mamasapano,” he said.

“When hungry farmers demanded rice because the severe drought is killing their children, they answered back by firing at the protesters and in the process killing three and wounding scores of others. It was an exercise of brutal state euthanasia,” he added.

“For the first time, people have rallied behind a man – a leader – who is giving them hope,” he said. This, he added, is bringing “fear into the senses of the Aquino government and their minions.”