Mayor Duterte to attend Senate hearing if subpoenaed

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 05 February) — Mayor Sara Duterte will appear before the Senate if subpoenaed to attend a hearing on the resolution filed Monday morning by opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes, seeking a probe on the alleged, violation of the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA) by President Duterte and his daughter, Sara.

This, even as the mayor says Trillanes is “confused and going crazy.”

“I respect the authority of the Senate as part of the legislative branch of the government, if there’s any subpoena. But if it is just an invitation, I don’t think I will attend. But if it is a subpoena with a penalty of contempt, then I will go,” the mayor said at the sidelines of the signing of the sister city agreement with the  County of Kauai, Hawaii at the Marco Polo Davao on Monday.

Davao CIty Mayor Sara Duterte tells reporters at the sidelines of the signing a sister city agreement on February 5, 2018 that she will appear before the Senate if subpoenaed to attend a hearing on the resolution filed Monday morning by opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes, seeking a probe on the alleged violation of the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA) by President Duterte and daughter Sara. MindaNews photo by MANMAN DEJETO

Trillanes on Monday morning filed Senate Resolution 602, citing a report of VERA Files that Duterte and Sara, had at least P100 million in joint deposits and investments that were not disclosed in their Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN).

Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III told Senate reporters that Trillanes’ resolution “will be referred to the proper committee” but said he would have hoped they would not waste time on it because it happened before “with different characters involved.” and it may just be a repetition. Pimentel said it should processed properly. and “it will now be the call of the chairman. When he will schedule it. How he will treat it. Who are the resource persons he will invite?”

“Since we are all elected public officials, si Chairman na rin ang mag-weigh kung may political repercussion para sa kanya kung bibigyan niya ng importansya” given the many issues the Senate has to attend to.

Reacting to Pimentel’s statement, Trillanes in a statement said he filed a “valid resolution and it should be referred to the Committee on Banks as stated”

Pimentel, he said, “has no power to disallow its referral.”

The chair of the Senate Committee on Banks, Financial Institutions and Currencies is Senator Francis Escudero.

“Confused and going crazy”

Mayor Duterte maintained that Trillanes, a staunch critic of the Duterte administration, is lying as he could not provide his source of the supposed bank documents that allegedly contained the undisclosed bank transactions of the Dutertes’ joint bank accounts.

Duterte said Trillanes is “confused and going crazy” and that she is “starting to believe the rumors that he’s getting hooked on something because there is no other explanation for his obsession with President Duterte.”

She recalled that Trillanes, who ran for Vice President in the 2016 elections,  named a certain Joseph de Mesa at the height of the presidential campaign in 2016 as the source of his documents and later the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC). AMLC denied being the source of the Trillanes’ bank documents.

“He has the penchant for parading his star witnesses in the Senate and yet he cannot even produce Joseph de Mesa. He also says ALMC is the source of his documents and yet he twits President Duterte for not executing a waiver for AMLC. So how come he has a copy of a purported AMLC document without the waiver?,” she asked.

The mayor said Trillanes is not helping the country by bringing down the President.

She said she will not file a case against Trillanes as she respects his opinions and believes in democracy.

“I still respect crazy people,” she said.

In a briefing last January 23, the mayor dismissed as “rumor” the report that she and her father had failed to declare more than P100 million in joint deposits and investments according to the transactions made in two branches of Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) from 2006 until 2014 based on the bank documents produced by Trillanes.

The mayor added that they continue to question the claims and the truthfulness of the alleged documents provided by Trillanes, who had been previously asked to bare the sources of his bank documents.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque challenged Trillanes to come up with certifications from the banks that the statements are authentic.

Roque maintained that the President is not inclined to issue another waiver, as he already did during the 2016 elections.

“The President has said that during elections he issued a waiver. It’s there,” he said.

“I would like to underscore the fact that all these banks statements are rehashed from stories that Senator Trillanes alleged initially during elections which until today have not been proven because it is impossible to authenticate these so-called bank documents,” he added. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)