Tril­lanes de­nies earn­ing money from China talks

The Philippine Star - - NEWS - By MARVIN SY

Sen. An­to­nio Tril­lanes IV de­nied yes­ter­day re­ports that he made money dur­ing his back-chan­nel ne­go­ti­a­tions with Chi­nese of­fi­cials dur­ing the pre­vi­ous Aquino ad­min­is­tra­tion and that what he achieved there was to defuse ten­sion between the Philip­pines and China over the West Philip­pine Sea dis­pute.

Re­spond­ing to the lat­est al­le­ga­tions made by Pres­i­dent Duterte against him, Tril­lanes said the Philip­pines never lost Panatag (Scar­bor­ough) Shoal as re­peat­edly claimed by Duterte, es­pe­cially not dur­ing the time that he was con­duct­ing backchan­nel talks with China.

“It was part of our vic­tory in the ar­bi­tral tri­bunal. I have said time and again that my role as back-chan­nel ne­go­tia­tor was lim­ited to the de-es­ca­la­tion of ten­sion in Scar­bor­ough Shoal,” Tril­lanes said.

Ac­cord­ing to the Pres­i­dent, Tril­lanes started ac­cu­mu­lat­ing money dur­ing those trips he made as the back-chan­nel ne­go­tia­tor and that he opened bank ac­counts in var­i­ous coun­tries in­clud­ing Sin­ga­pore and Switzer­land.

The Pres­i­dent said that many of the ac­counts opened by Tril­lanes were joint ac­counts and used names such as An­to­nio Tril­lanes, Tril­lanes Jr., the sec­ond and the third so that he could deny own­er­ship of these.

Tril­lanes has been say­ing that Duterte and his al­lies were sloppy in com­ing up with those bank ac­counts and for­got to use the fourth suf­fix of his name.

“That’s the thing, if those were my ac­counts, why was there no ‘IV’ at­tached to the names? They made a ba­sic blun­der. They even for­got that I was the fourth (IV),” Tril­lanes said.

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