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Lawyer claims Duterte never amassed P211M at BPI Julia Vargas branch


Atty. Salvador Panelo on Monday belied the claim of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV that his client, Davao City Mayor presidential hopeful Rodrigo Duterte, ever possessed P211 million is his deposit account at the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) Julia Vargas Branch in Pasig City.

“I have addressed the bank to issue the necessary documents. Based on the records of the bank, walang P211 million sa kanyang deposit mula pa noong ito'y binuksan niya at hanggang ngayon,” Panelo said on GMA News' "News To Go."

Panelo is representing Duterte's camp in a face-off with Trillanes at the bank.

The lawyer said he was authorized by Duterte to open his bank account and release a bank certification that the PDP-Laban standard-bearer never amassed P211 million.

Panelo dared Trillanes to issue a sworn statement regarding his allegations and if the senator, who is also a vice presidential hopeful, believes his evidence against Duterte was true.

“Ayaw niyang maglagda ng isang sinumpaang salaysay dahil puwedeng siyang idemanda,” Panelo said.

Trillanes should be the one to prove the existence of the money, not Duterte, since bank secrecy laws prohibit banks and its personnel to reveal account details of its clients, according to the laywer.

“Mayroong batas na nagsasabing hindi puwedeng mag-reveal ang bangko na anumang impormasyon kaugnay sa deposito ng isang kliyente. Nakalagay din sa batas na nagbabawal sa isang empleyado na maglabas ng impormasyon sa deposito sapagkat sila ay idedemanda sa ilalim ng batas,” Panelo said.

A waiver of bank secrecy law and other documents will belie the allegations against Duterte, the lawyer noted.

“Si Mayor Duterte ay walang itinatagong pera na ganyang kalaking halaga sapagkat kung mayroon hindi siya mag-authorize ng kahit na sinong tao na buksan at iladlad sa publiko na mayroon siyang tinatago,” Panelo said.

The lawyer noted the focus now is on the BPI Julia Vargas account and not on the BPI Greenhills and BDO Unibank Davao City where Duterte allegedly also has accounts.

“Ang in-expose itong account na 'to may P211 million. Ito muna ang pag-usapan namin, ang kasinungalingan niya, ang kalokohan niya,” Panelo said.

“Lahat ng sinabi niya ay kasinungalingan. You lie in one, you lie in all. Hindi ka na paniniwalaan,” he added. – Joseph Tristan Roxas/VDS, GMA News

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