Duterte: Tril­lanes earned hid­den wealth from back­door talks in China

Manila Bulletin - - National News - By AR­GYLL CYRUS B. GEDUCOS

Pres­i­dent Duterte linked Sen­a­tor An­to­nio Tril­lanes IV’s al­leged hid­den wealth to the lat­ter’s trips to China in 2012 when Tril­lanes ne­go­ti­ated with Chi­nese of­fi­cials at the height of the dis­pute on the West Philip­pine Sea.

Duterte, in an in­ter­view over PTV-4 Fri­day night, also said that Tril­lanes’ visit cost the Philip­pine govern­ment the Scar­bor­ough Shoal.

“Yung mga dummy na ‘yan o nag­bi­gay sa kanya ng pera or oth­er­wise ‘yung kinita niya sa China (Those dummy ac­counts, or the peo­ple who gave him money, or oth­er­wise what he earned from China) when he was go­ing back or forth eight or nine times sa China, tapos ‘yun ‘yung na­gac­cu­mu­late yung mga pera niya (in China, that’s when he ac­cu­mu­lated money). That was the time we lost the Scar­bor­ough Shoal,” Duterte said.

For­mer Sen­a­tor Juan Ponce En­rile pre­vi­ously ac­cused Tril­lanes of fa­vor­ing China when the lat­ter served as the Philip­pines’ back­door ne­go­tia­tor tasked to dif­fuse ten­sions be­tween the two coun­tries.

It was re­ported that Tril­lanes al­legedly had 16 se­cret meet­ings with Chi­nese of­fi­cials about the Scar­bor­ough Shoal and the West Philip­pine Sea where he al­legedly told them that the Filipinos don’t care about the dis­puted ter­ri­tory.

Dur­ing the cam­paign pe­riod last year, Duterte him­self brought up Tril­lanes’ meet­ings in China, call­ing the sen­a­tor a “traitor.”

Duterte first brought up Tril­lanes’ al­leged off­shore ac­counts last week, say­ing he would also re­veal the iden­ti­ties of the lat­ter’s around 200 con­sul­tants.

He said Tril­lanes was bent on go­ing af­ter him and fam­ily, cit­ing how Tril­lanes claimed that Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte was a mem­ber of a drug triad and al­legedly played a role in the smug­gling of a R6.4-bil­lion il­le­gal drug ship­ment from China in May, 2017.

“I’m com­ing out with Tril­lanes’ bank de­posits all over (the world). Nakuha ko na. Akala kasi niya hindi ko rin kaya, eh (I got it. He thinks I can­not do it, too),” Duterte had said, re­fer­ring to how Tril­lanes ac­cused him of hav­ing mil­lions of pe­sos of hid­den wealth dur­ing the cam­paign pe­riod.

But un­like that event, Duterte said the ev­i­dence he ob­tained against the sen­a­tor is not garbage.

“He’s bent on de­stroy­ing me. I will de­stroy him or he will de­stroy me. Gano’n lang ‘yon (It’s as sim­ple as that),” the Pres­i­dent said.

Mala­cañang ear­lier clar­i­fied that Duterte only meant to “de­stroy” or put a stop on the “ap­par­ently wan­ton ac­cu­sa­tions” hurled against the Pres­i­dent and his fam­ily.

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