Duterte won’t sign waivers on his bank accounts, says chief legal counsel

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PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte won’t sign any waiver, which will authorize the opening of his bank accounts, his chief legal counsel has said.

Presidential Legal Adviser Salvador Panelo texted his reaction after Sen. Antonio Trillanes 4th challenged the President to sign bank waivers.

Trillanes has signed 12 waivers on Monday, which authorized the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) and the Office of the Ombudsman to examine his bank deposits. The 12 banks, Trillanes said, included two non-existent banks.

“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, referring to Trillanes’ previous challenge to then Davao City Mayor and presidential candidate Duterte.


“The certification asked of 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 said.

BPI is Bank of the Philippine Islands.

Then candidate Duterte, however, did not sign any bank waiver contrary to Panelo’s claims.

A waiver is a written request by the account holder to the bank, waiving his or her right under the Bank Secrecy law and providing details of his or her bank accounts in the bank.

What then Davao City Mayor Duterte did was admit that he has two accounts at the BPI Julia Vargas branch with P17,000 and P50,000 deposits, way below the amount Trillanes was claiming at that time.

Duterte was even quoted as saying, “I will not play into your hands. Who is he (Trillanes) to demand a waiver?”

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.”

Other exceptions on confidentiality of bank deposits include: 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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