Dispatch from Crame No. 161: Sen. Leila M. de Lima’s Statement on the Refusal of President #Duterte and his son, #Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, to Sign Bank Waiver

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Duterte does a cop-out. After revealing to the public alleged foreign bank accounts belonging to Senator Trillanes, Duterte was caught flat-footed when the Senator took his challenge and executed waivers to the Bank Secrecy Law for the Ombudsman and AMLC to verify the bank accounts. In return, Sen. Trillanes asked for only one thing, that the President do the same thing, as he was already challenged more than a year ago.

The macho man who has challenged Trillanes to a gun duel cannot even lift a pen to sign a waiver. He has adopted his own son Polong’s “palusot”, that they are not “uto-uto”.

This is of course another lame excuse to evade accountability and transparency. While Trillanes has accepted the challenge to be transparent, the Duterte father and son are hiding-in-tandem, afraid to be exposed for what ultimately is the truth about their family’s ill-gotten wealth and other illegal activities.

The issue here is transparency and accountability. Both Dutertes have miserably failed in the face of the categorical challenge to be transparent and accountable. Polong demanded that he be given a chance to clear his name. When given such opportunity, all he did, upon the advice of his father, was to clam up and refuse to answer questions on his bank accounts and membership in the Chinese Triad.

In the same fashion, his father is given the perfect opportunity to embarrass Sen. Trillanes by executing a bank waiver of his own. His response, like Polong’s: “No Way”. These are public officials evading accountability, hiding their ill-gotten wealth, hiding-in-tandem.

Of course, Duterte won’t issue a waiver because this will expose the Duterte family’s ill-gotten wealth. It will reveal the fact that the Dutertes of Davao are nothing but scammers, having scammed the people of Davao for almost 30 years, and now the entire country for the next five years. It will unmask this President’s duplicity, double-speak, pretensions and deceptions. His much-vaunted anti-corruption stance, like his war on drugs, will be exposed as a sham.

Three among the Duterte family are public officials. A mayor, a vice-mayor, and the President. None of them acts like a public official in terms of transparency and accountability. They believe they are accountable to no one. They are above the law. They are untouchables.

Only criminals are not legally accountable to the people, because they are criminals. It is not therefore surprising that the Dutertes think this way. More than public officials, they behave like criminals, albeit entitled and privileged, like Mafia and Triad bosses. They should all just resign their public offices and be full-time gangsters. At least then they will no longer be untouchables. ###

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