MANILA — The lawyer of presidential son and Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte on Thursday said that he will not play the game of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV who revived once more allegations that the Duterte family has millions in bank accounts.
“He presented the bank accounts, that’s an old issue,” lawyer Rainier Madrid told reporters in an interview after the Senate panel hearing into the PHP6.4-billion shabu shipment from China which slipped through the Bureau of Customs (BOC).
Duterte and his-brother-in-law lawyer Manases Carpio were both invited in the Senate probe to clear their names after Customs broker and fixer Mark Taguba earlier claimed that a group linked to them facilitated the release of the illegal shipment.
Madrid explained that his client refused to sign a waiver of the bank secrecy law that allows his accounts to be looked into because Trillanes has not even admitted where he obtained his sources.
“Bakit tayo magpapa-uto sa kanya? What is there to clear? Ang sinabi niya puro PowerPoint, he did not even identify the sources of the PowerPoint (Why allow ourselves to be fooled by him? What is there to clear? All he said came from a PowerPoint, he did not even identify the sources of the PowerPoint),” Madrid said.
Duterte’s lawyer said that his job was to expose Trillanes as a “hoax.”
“My job is just to expose him as a hoax, he’s a military propagandist, he always refers to intel which is invalidated because it will never be admitted in court. He cannot even show the intel report,” he added.
Madrid further said that Trillanes’ main objective was to “manipulate” people’s minds, especially the media.
Moreover, Madrid also said that it was also he who advised Duterte not to show a tattoo on his back. During the hearing, Trillanes claimed that Duterte’s back tattoo was proof that he was part of a drug triad.
“It’s against my professional duty to let my client be exposed under such silly circumstances,” Madrid said. “I cannot advise my client that because I’m a litigator and I know how this game is being played.”
“I don’t like my client to be laughed around by people who try to make ‘uto-uto’ (a fool) of him,” he added.
Madrid claimed that Trillanes was “fishing for information” because he did not have information in the first place.
“You want him to clear his name because he is the son of the President, if he were not the son of the President, then you wouldn’t have minded him. Even he were a lowly vice mayor, if he were not the son of the President, no one would have minded him,” Madrid said.
Madrid, meanwhile, said that Trillanes’ real target was to “put down” President Rodrigo Duterte and his family because the chief executive reportedly turned down Trillanes’ proposal to be his running mate.
“This guy is there because he wasn’t chosen by the President to be his running mate, he hates the guy. He wants to bring down the President,” Madrid said.
During the Senate probe, Trillanes asked Vice Mayor Duterte questions about his bank accounts and even asked him to confirm his account number.
Trillanes claimed he had information that Duterte had over PHP100 million in at least two bank accounts — the Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation and the Bank of the Philippine Islands in Davao City.
Duterte said that he “refused” to answer because he had the right to privacy. After Trillanes argued that there was no “right to privacy”, Duterte eventually said that he was invoking his right to self-incrimination.