Trillanes in Singapore, claims no offshore accounts

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SEN. Antonio Trillanes 4th on Tuesday claimed he was able to debunk the allegation of President Rodrigo Duterte that he has two secret bank accounts in Singapore.

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Trillanes, who went to DBS Bank’s Alexandra branch in Singapore, said: “I was able to belie the claim of Duterte that I have a bank account here.”

“‘No such accounts exist,’ the bank teller told me when I showed my passport and two account numbers provided by Duterte, Erwin Tulfo and Mocha Uson,” Trillanes said in a statement from Singapore.

Tulfo, a broadcaster, and Uson, a Palace communications assistant secretary, had posted details of Trillanes’ alleged bank accounts on social media.

Trillanes said he inquired with DBS Bank if there were single or joint accounts, existing or closed, under the names “Antonio F. Trillanes IV” or “Antonio F. Trillanes”

“Upon checking in her computer, the teller again said, ‘No such accounts exist.’ Some media reporters heard this when I asked this question,” Trillanes said.

Trillanes said he also tried to find the Hongkong Shanghai Bank Raffles Branch, where he allegedly has an account. “But there was no such bank anywhere in the world,” Trillanes said.

“So, we went to Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) in Raffles City Tower which appears [in]Google search. We went to the HSBC along Raffles Boulevard but they only have an ATM (automated teller machine). A quick check at the HSBC Singapore website showed that there is no HSBC Raffles Branch,” he said.

“Maliwanag na nagsisinungaling si Duterte at gawa gawa lang nila ang mga paratang niya na meron akong mga foreign bank account (It is clear that Duterte was lying and he was merely making up this allegation that I have foreign bank accounts),” Trillanes added.

On Sept. 11, Trillanes submitted to the Anti-Money Laundering Council and the Ombudsman 12 waivers for each of his 12 reported offshore bank accounts as alleged by the President.

He signed and issued a sworn waiver of secrecy of bank deposits for the following banks: Hong Kong Shanghai Bank in Singapore, with account number 0016729915127; UBS Switzerland, in Geneva, Switzerland (94001111520743); Hong Kong Shanghai Bank in New Zealand (00541889230091); Habib A.G. Bank in Zurich, Switzerland (77100801562118); Deutsche Bank S.A. in Geneva, Switzerland (00259955219012); Nova Scotia Bank in Toronto, Canada (1850062105991); ANZ Bank in Auckland, New Zealand (00523896117002); Equitable Bank in Toronto, Canada (0529193002047); DBS Bank in Singapore (1178000281602); UBS Bank in Zurich, Switzerland (9027519921320); CIM Bank in Geneva, Switzerland (70013872117010); and CommerzBank A.G. Bank in Zurich, Switzerland (20093722511301).

He got the said bank accounts from the social media posts of Tulfo, Uson and the Davao Breaking News website said to be owned by reporter Ben Tesiorna.

Palace stands by claims

Malacañang on Tuesday stood by President Duterte’s claim that Trillanes maintained secret bank accounts overseas.

In a chance interview, Palace spokesman Ernesto Abella said Trillanes’ statements still needed to be validated.
“It (Trillanes’ claim) has to be verified. If he makes any such claim, those things have to be verified and apparently, like we said, the President already checked into the background of that particular account,” Abella told reporters.

Duterte had accused Trillanes of keeping bank deposits “all over” Singapore, China, Hong Kong, Australia and America.

The President claimed that Trillanes’ DBS Bank account in Singapore had a balance of 193,000. He, however, did not mention the currency.

Photos then circulated online supposedly showing several $50 remittances to the senator’s alleged accounts.

with CATHERINE S. VALENTE

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