Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella on Wednesday defended the admission of President Rodrigo Duterte that he “invented” the bank account of opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes IV in Singapore. Abella, in an interview with Senate reporters, said that although it was too early to determine the intention of Duterte for doing so, it was clear that the President was “transparent” about his actions.
“This is a particular isolated case that he intentionally did that. But first and foremost, he comes out in the open, he doesn’t hide it. He is quite transparent about his actions,” Abella said.
He also said that it is already well known that Duterte is “unorthodox” and “out of the box.”
“May kanya-kanya pong style. As we very well know, the President is quite unorthodox and out of the box. His actions have proved to be economically viable for the nation,” Abella said.
The presidential spokesperson said that although unorthodox, Duterte’s actions as a whole has positioned the Philippines as among the top financially inclusive countries in Asia.
Abella, however, said that it is still necessary to verify information from all “pertinent sources” including the President.
“This is something that we need to clarify from my end. [We need to] clarify with the pertinent sources including the President,” he added.
He said that he could not deny or affirm if Duterte got his information on Trillanes’ bank account from Assistant Communications Secretary Mocha Uson and broadcaster Erwin Tulfo but was certain he had “his own” sources.
Asked if Duterte’s admission that he invented Trillanes’ bank account meant that he had information on the senator’s real account, Abella simply said: “That was the implication.”
“That is the President’s logic. I cannot conclude exactly what his real intention was,” Abella said.
On Tuesday, Trillanes went to DBS Bank-Alexandra branch in Singapore to disprove allegations of the President that he owned a bank account abroad. Trillanes said that the bank told him that the number provided by Duterte was non-existent.
Duterte later admitted that he tricked Trillanes by providing a fake bank account in Singapore.