Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Attorney Salvador Panelo on Sunday insisted that President Rodrigo Duterte had already executed a bank secrecy waiver, which he said has already proven that such alleged multi-billion peso wealth does not exist.
"Matagal nang sinasabi ni [Senator Antonio] Trillanes 'yan eh, nag-execute nang waiver si Presidente noong Mayo pa of last year at napatunayan doon sabi ng BPI (Bank of the Philippine Islands), ng bangko na wala siyang ganung pera labinglimang libo lang ang pera niya at that time," Panelo said in an interview on radio dzBB.
"Pangalawa, alam niyo si Presidente abogado, ang abogado kasi 'pag tumingin ka sa batas, sinusunod mo yung prinsipyo, sinasabi sa batas kung sino yung nag-aakusa, siya ang dapat magpruba, he has to prove, lahat sila magpruweba hindi pupwede yung mag-aakusa sila pagkatapos kukuha sila ng ebidensiya doon mismo sa inaakusa nila, hindi naman pupwede 'yon," he added.
Panelo's statement came in after cause-oriented group "Tindig Pilipinas" launched a signature campaign urging Duterte to sign a bank secrecy waiver to end doubts on his alleged unexplained wealth.
"We, the Filipino people, call on President Duterte to sign the waiver on the secrecy of bank deposits. We deserve a transparent and accountable leader," the group said in its petition.
The group held a rally at the University of the Philippines in Quezon City on Saturday afternoon, which was attended by members of the opposition, including Trillanes.
Meanwhile, Panelo challenged members of Tindig Pilipinas to also show their bank records.
"Yung mga sinasabi nila, sige nga sila ang maglabas ng mga bank records nila. Ipakita nila lahat ng bank records nila," he said.
Panelo said that the special power of attorney (SPA) then-presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte signed in 2016 remains valid.
"Meron na nga siyang waiver na valid and binding pa nga yung kanyang waiver. Kung ako yung pumirma nung waiver, pwede pa rin 'yon. Nangungulit lang sila, wala na kasing issue," he said.
"Alam mo, gaya nung rating niya, 80 porsyento pa rin, ang naging pagbagsak lang ng sinasabing satisfaction rating ay 'yun ay ang sentimiyento ng tao dahil sa pagkapaslang sa tatlong teenagers. More on against the PNP yon rather than the President," he added.
Panelo was referring to the 80% approval rating the President got in a recent survey by Pulse Asia, which for him is a sign that Filipinos still approve of the President's work and trust him.
According to the survey, Duterte enjoys an 80-percent approval rating, slightly lower than June’s 82 percent. Eighty percent of Filipinos have "big trust" in him, too, according to the survey.
But in a separate survey by pollster Social Weather Stations, Duterte's net satisfaction rating dropped sharply at +48, 18 points lower than the "very good" net satisfaction rating of +66 in June 2017.
It was the lowest record during Duterte's term and the first time that he received a mark that is below +60.
The survey was conducted just weeks after the deaths of teenagers Kian Loyd delos Santos, Carl Angelo Arnaiz, and Reynaldo de Guzman, which sparked the outcry of the public against alleged extrajudicial killings and the rising death toll in Duterte's war against illegal drugs. —LBG, GMA News