PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday hit back at Sen. Antonio Trillanes 4th, calling the opposition lawmaker a “tulisan” (bandit) after the latter’s bid to resurrect allegations he hid more than P2 billion in secret bank accounts.
Duterte delivered the stinging rebuke in a three-minute video uploaded on Facebook shortly before midnight.
He accused Trillanes of being in the business of asking for “retainers,” and defended members of his family whose names were dragged by the former navy officer: his partner Honeylet Avanceña and daughter Sara Duterte-Carpio, the mayor of Davao City.
“You know, Trillanes, Honeylet started her doughnut business 18 years ago. She supplies meat to five malls here in Davao. That woman has a lot of money. She’s industrious, unlike you who’s ambitious,” the President said.
“He must have also have forgotten that my daughter Sara is a lawyer by profession and that she earns from this and that and she has clients who actually pay for her services and not from illegal retainers which Trillanes is so used so doing,” he added.
Duterte pointed out that Trillanes is in his last term and would lose nothing if he quit, “which explains his penchant for always daring the President to resign.”
“He actually has no political career after his term in office expires in less than two years,” the President said.
Duterte however made a dare of his own: “If Trillanes can prove his allegation that I have amassed P2 billion illegally or if that bank account under my name has a total deposit at one time of even just half a billion, I will resign as President immediately.”
“This is actually an old and rehashed issue. I have answered this allegation before I became President. The people have already spoken, they have placed me in the office with 16 million votes,” he added.
“I would advise Trillanes to go to court and file the proper case against me and advise him further to stop opening his mouth when he has nothing to say anyway.”
Duterte said Trillanes, who rose to national prominence following the failed military uprising at Oakwood hotel in Makati in 2003, was ignorant of the banking business when he added up Avanceña’s daily transactions.
“You stage a mutiny yet you don’t have balls. You surrendered when the police arrived. It’s really a shame,” Duterte said.
“If your family is hungry, now or before, don’t drag us into this. We’re not poor. My father was a governor and he left us something. What was left with you? Hot air and boastfulness. You’re a bandit, really,” he said in Filipino.