Philippines

Vera Files dared to prove President Duterte got multi-millions worth of gifts

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Vera Files dared to prove PRRD got multi-millions worth of gifts
By Azer Parrocha

MANILA (Philippines News Agency) — Malacañang on Monday dared online news firm, Vera Files, to prove its report that President Rodrigo Duterte has been receiving gifts amounting to multi-million pesos.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo made the challenge after journalist Ellen Tordesillas claimed in the Vera Files story published on Sunday that “on March 28, 2014, seven deposits totaling PHP193,705,615.88 were credited to the joint account of then Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte and his daughter Sara Z. Duterte in BPI, Julia Vargas branch in Ortigas Center.”

Tordesillas alleged that the first was in the amount of PHP55,131,747.32, followed by PHP41,721,035.62. Four deposits in the amount of PHP20 million each came in and the last deposit for the day was in the amount of PHP16,852,832.94, she claimed.

“Is that true? Does she have any evidence to that effect? Ang dami nang nagsabi na si Presidente ang daming … hindi ba, ilang daang milyon mayroon siya pero hindi naman totoo (There are so many saying the President has a lot…he has millions but it’s not true),” Panelo said in a Palace briefing.

“Sabi nga (As they say), one who alleges must prove. If you cannot prove, eh huwag ka nalang magsalita kasi naninira ka lang (don’t speak if you’re just intend to destroy a person),” he added.

Tordesillas claimed the Vera Files obtained the bank records from the Senate record where former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV submitted the documents.

The same documents were submitted to the Office of the Ombudsman when Trillanes filed a plunder case against Duterte.

Meanwhile, Panelo assured that whenever the President would receive monetary gifts, he would always direct it to be transferred to the Office of the President.

“Ang alam ko, kapag mayroong nagreregalo sa kaniya, pinapadiretso niya sa (What I know is if someone gives him a gift, he has it sent straight to the) Office of the President,” Panelo said.

“In other words, it will be the government of the Philippines that will receive the gift; hindi siya, hindi personal. Hindi siya tumatanggap ng personal (not him personally. He does not give the gifts personally),” he added.

Panelo recalled a time when Duterte was given a painting as a gift and requested to have a courtesy call to accept it, Duterte asked to have the painting donated to the government instead.

Duterte earlier said he saw nothing wrong with police personnel receiving gifts as a token of appreciation or gratitude for service them have rendered.

However, the President said it would be a different story if cops accepted bribes or only worked because they know they will be rewarded for doing so.

Panelo said all government employees and workers could only accept gifts of “nominal value” but should have the discretion when to decline when it was too “excessive.” (PNA)

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