Duterte: Some of my properties were gifts from friends

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/03 May) — Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan standard-bearer and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte on Monday said some of his properties were given by friends.

Duterte added that longtime friend Pastor Apollo Quiboloy also bought his children — Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, Sara Duterte-Carpio, and Sebastian Duterte — houses in upscale Woodridge Subdivision in Davao City.

Quiboloy said he bought these properties to ensure his friend’s children would be secure in case something happened to their father who was trying to rid the city of criminals and drug addicts many years ago.

Duterte, speaking on Quiboloy’s TV program “Give Us This Day”, issued the statement in response to Senator Antonio Trillanes IV’s accusation the mayor did not declare millions of pesos in bank deposits in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth.

Trillanes claimed Duterte had P211 million in one bank account alone and millions more in other accounts.

“Truth is only my protection. He can hit me with all the accusations, but the truth can protect me,” Duterte said.

“Trillanes, being a liar, is a threat. If that guy remains in the government, ang mga military mawalan ng respeto sa kanya (the military will lose respect in him),” he said.

Duterte ate up most of the airtime defending himself and lashing at Trillanes, a vice presidential candidate who exposed the mayor’s alleged hidden wealth last week.

“Trillanes is dakilang askal. He is a mad dog. He has a sick mind,” he said.

He said he was expecting the senator to come out with new allegations each day until the May 9 elections.

On Monday, Duterte’s lawyer Salvador Panelo, armed with a special power of attorney, met up with Trillanes at the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) Julia Vargas branch to look into the presidential bet’s bank records.

However, it would take seven days for BPI to issue a certification that his accounts did not contain millions as alleged by Trillanes, who claimed be got the information from a certain Joseph de Mesa.

Duterte went to say that Trillanes is the “weakest link in the government” and questioned his dealings with China over the disputed Scarborough Shoal in 2012.

“The last time he went there, we lost the Scarborough Shoal, which is ours because it is within our exclusive economic zone… I don’t believe he went there on his own without the blessing of [President Benigno] Aquino,” he said..

Duterte said that if he becomes president he will resolve the territorial row with China through peaceful means.

“China is our friend. We do want to go to war,” he said.

In an emailed statement on Tuesday, the Duterte-Cayetano media team quoted the presidential frontrunner as saying he will no longer entertain questions pertaining to Trillanes’ allegations.

“But it was a vow he made right after he called Trillanes a ‘paid askal’, a portmanteau word for ‘asong-kalye’ or stray or street dog,” it said. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)