• Duterte will not sign bank waiver – Panelo

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    President Rodrigo Duterte will not sign waivers to allow government agencies to open his bank accounts, Presidential Legal Adviser Salvador Panelo said Tuesday, replying to the challenge of Sen. Antonio Trillanes 4th to the President to open his bank accounts.

    “About the challenge of Trillanes to the President for the latter to execute a waiver on his bank account, the same has been done a long time ago particularly on the first week of May 2016 with the BPI as regards his allegation that President Rodrigo Duterte has P211 million in his savings account. The waiver remains valid,” Panelo said in a text message.

    “The certification asked of the BPI by President Duterte is to the effect that he has no P211 million in his account whether at the inception of the account, in the middle of it or at the present balance whether made singly, collectively, and cumulatively. That goes to the very transactional details of the account of the President,” Panelo added.

    A waiver is a written document signed by an account holder stating that he or she is waiving his or her right under the Bank Secrecy law and allowing the bank concerned to provide details of the bank account.

    In his certification, Duterte admitted that his two accounts at BPI Julia Vargas branch contained P17,000 and P50,000.

    The Bank Secrecy law states that “deposits of whatever nature with banks or banking institutions in the Philippines, including investments in bonds issued by the Government of the Philippines, its political subdivisions and its instrumentalities, are hereby considered as of an absolutely confidential nature and may not be examined, inquired or looked into by any person, government official, bureau or office, except upon written permission of the depositor.”

    Bank deposits can be opened in cases of impeachment, upon order of a competent court in cases of bribery or dereliction of duty of public officials and in cases where the money deposited or invested is the subject matter of the litigation.

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