Trillanes on Pulong’s tattoo: ‘Kung walang tinatago, bakit ayaw ipakita?’

September 8, 2017 - 4:17 PM
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File photos of Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV (from Philstar) and Davao Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte (from Reuters)

MANILA, Philippines — If he has nothing to hide why does he not want to show his tattoo, why does he not want to sign a bank secrecy waiver?

Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV asked this on Friday after Davao Vice Mayor Paolo “Pulong” Duterte, during the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing on Thursday, invoked his right to privacy and refused to show a mark on his back and sign a document that would allow the opening of his bank accounts.

(K)ung walang tinatago o hindi totoo, bakit ayaw ipakita ang tattoo at ayaw pumirma ng waiver?” said Trillanes.

During the hearing, Trillanes said he had received information from foreign intelligence agents, whom he did not name, that Duterte has a tattoo on his back that allegedly proves that the vice mayor is a member of the Chinese drug triad.

While Duterte admitted that he has a tattoo on his back, he refused to show the mark during the hearing.

Also, the senator said that he had received information that Duterte had total bank deposits of P104.28 million as of November 2015, adding that he was sure that the amount had already grown bigger because of Duterte’s supposed earnings from the Davao Group, which allegedly facilitates the release of smuggled goods from the country’s ports.

Despite Duterte’s refusal, Trillanes said on Friday the “the good thing” that happened during the hearing was that “the public saw the evasive demeanor of Paolo Duterte and could simply conclude that the allegations are true.”

Duterte advised son not to talk

Last September 3, amid allegations that the vice mayor was behind the Davao Group, President Rodrigo Duterte advised his son to attend the Senate hearing but not answer Trillanes’ questions and invoke his right against self incrimination.

Ang advice ko kay Pulong? Punta ka doon. And then, pagdating mo, do’n sa questions, sabihin mo, ‘I will not answer you.’ I’m invoking my right of silence kasi noong eleksyon pa, hindi pa Presidente tatay ko, binibira mo na kami. So if you want evidence, do not get it from the mouth of other people. Go somewhere else,” the President said.

After the hearing on Thursday, Sen. Richard Gordon, chairman of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, said his panel would no longer again invite the chief executive’s son and son-in-law Manases Carpio to attend the inquiry.

READ RELATED STORY: Duterte son, son-in-law’s attendance at Senate probe the first and last as Gordon wants to focus on still unknown Tita Nani, Jack, Jojo

Malacañang thanks Gordon’s panel

On Friday, after Trillanes failed to squeeze any information from the younger Duterte and Carpio, who is also being linked to the Davao Group, the Office of the President thanked Gordon’s committee “for giving Vice Mayor Duterte and Atty. Carpio the chance to debunk baseless allegations.”

“While nearly all senators show respect for truth and reason, we caution against a particular one who made basis claims of purported bank accounts and body markings,” said presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella, apparently referring to Trillanes.

Meanwhile, Trillanes said on Friday that it was “very unfortunate” that his fellow senators were not interested to know whether his allegations against the younger Duterte were true or not.

“Aren’t they interested to know definitively that the son of the President, who is the architect of the bloody War on Drugs, is not a member of a drug smuggling syndicate?” he said.

Koko, Tito dismiss Trillanes’ allegations against Pulong

Trillanes issued the statement after at least two senators dismissed as baseless his allegations against the President’s son.

Senate president Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III on Friday said the questions posed by Trillanes during Thursday’s hearing were “off tangent from the topic of the investigation.”

“Sayang lang oras [It’s a waste of time],” added Pimentel.

For his part, Sen. Vicente “Tito” Sotto III said, “We cannot react to unsubstantiated allegations. Maraming ganyan na klaseng balita sa Internet [There are lots of news like that on the Internet]. You give credence when you react.”