Sen. Antonio Trillanes 4th, one of the ardent detractors of Vice President Binay, owns eight luxury vehicles that were not included in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) when he was a Navy lieutenant second grade, lawyer JV Bautista, interim secretary general of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), said on Tuesday.
According to Bautista, Trillanes is yet to give a satisfactory explanation on how he managed to acquire those vehicles 11 years after the issue was first raised during the Feliciano Commission that conducted an inquiry into the botched Oakwood mutiny of which he was a leader.
“Senator Trillanes styles himself as a moral crusader, but all these years he has evaded the issue of how he was able to afford eight luxury vehicles with his salary in the military and why he did not declare them in his SALN. This is a clear violation of the law,” Bautista said.
“Mahirap ang nagmamalinis. Kung anu-ano ang sinasabi laban kay Vice President Binay, yun pala sya ang may nilabag na batas at may malaking itinatago [It is hard to pretend to be clean. He says a lot of things against Vice President Jejomar Binay, it turns out that he has broken the law and is hiding a big secret],” he added.
The UNA official said a junior officer with a rank similar to Trillanes at the time had a monthly salary of around P22,000.
But documents from the Land Transportation Office (LTO) presented during the Feliciano Commission hearings in 2003 showed that Trillanes was the registered owner of a Nissan Terrano, Mitsubishi Pajero, five Mitsubishi Delica vans and a motorcycle.
“How can he afford those luxury vehicles with his pay as a junior officer? It seems Trillanes has a thing for luxury vehicles, aside from his affection for luxury hotels whom he is fond of taking over,” Bautista said.
“If he says that his crusade is against corruption, then he should start with himself, being the owner of eight expensive vehicles,” he added.
Bautista last week challenged Trillanes to undergo a lifestyle check in the spirit of transparency and public interest.
“Just because you are part of the blue ribbon sub-committee investigating the Makati City Hall Building 2 does not make you a credible or honorable person, or reading Biblical passages make you any holier than anyone,” he said.
But Trillanes denied the allegations, saying the UNA is only trying to revive an old issue.
He said it was the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) that filed the case against him but was later dismissed by the Office of the Ombudsman.
The senator admitted owning a second-hand Nissan Terrano model 1996.
He, however, said the Pajero with license plate RIZ 222 is owned by Darlito Roca.
“I have never ever owned a Kawasaki motorbike. In fact, I have never driven and I do not know how to ride a motorbike, not even once in my life. My license restriction can easily prove this fact,” Trillanes added.
He said the five Delica vans are owned by his mother, who bought the vehicles through a loan in October 2000. The senator added that his mother planned to start a van rental service but she disposed of some of the cars because they were too costly to maintain.
“This flimsy and dubious story shows the depths VP [Vice President] Binay’s camp is willing to go just to mislead the issues at hand. I trust that the people can discern properly which stories are real and fictitious,” Trillanes added.