President Rodrigo Duterte said he read out the wrong account number to fool Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, who visited a bank in Singapore in an effort to debunk the chief executive's allegations about his supposed hidden wealth.
Duterte made the pronouncement in a live interview on PTV-4 on Tuesday, hours after Trillanes was informed by DBS Bank in Singapore that the account did not exist.
But Duterte said that the number he read out in an earlier interview, 178000296012, was made up.
Duterte said Trillanes also used the wrong account number in one of his bank account waivers.
"Wala ito. Produkto ng isip ko ito. Tinanggalan ko talaga. Ginamit mo. Nag-issue ka ng waiver... Iba ang account number, iba ang totoo," he said.
Duterte presented a sheet paper showing the actual account number: 11780-00281-60-2. He said the actual number was earlier revealed by Communications Asst. Sec. Mocha Uson and broadcaster Erwin Tulfo.
"Sinadya ko iyan," he said.
Duterte also said no bank would be "crazy" to release details of accounts.
"Kita mo siya ngayon. He's desperate. Pumunta ng Singapore, mag-gastos lang para propaganda lang," he said.
In response, Trillanes said: "Buti naman umamin siya na sinungaling siya."
He further twitted Duterte, saying it was in line with the President's strategy during last year's campaign to be lying.
"To begin with, nanalo sya base sa propaganda at kasinungalingan. Sana naman maliwanagan na ang mga kababayan natin na naloko at patuloy na niloloko sila ni Duterte," Trillanes said.
Trillanes' press statement about his Singapore trip stated that he presented two numbers that Duterte as well as Uson and Tulfo claimed were supposedly at the DBS Bank.
"Naipakita ko dito sa pagpunta ko mismo sa DBS bank Alexandra Branch dito sa Singapore na hindi totoo ang paratang ni Duterte na meron daw akong bank account dito. 'No such accounts exist' ang sabi ng bank teller ng ipinakita ko ang aking passport kasama ang dalawang account numbers na galing kina Duterte, Erwin Tulfo at Mocha Uson," he said.
The account numbers were not included in the press statement.
The senator also signed a bank waiver for what Duterte said was the actual bank account: 11780-00281-60-2. —JST, GMA News