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Duterte bares source of family wealth

  • Written by Efren Montano
  • Published in Top Stories
  • Read: 352

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte dismissed anew accusations of ill-gotten wealth by revealing that he and his
siblings got their family fortune and made ‘millions’ by selling inherited land.

In talks with reporters in Davao City, the President said he and his siblings decided to sell  
pieces of real estate property they inherited from their parents because they were already quarreling
over it.

Duterte’s  four siblings are Eleonor, Emmanuel, Benjamin and Jocelyn.
    
“We siblings quarreled over (some pieces of property). So I said, sell,”the President said.
    
“I was a lawyer then,”  Duterte said
    
The President said that  even before when he was just a fourth year student, he had already
about P3 million although he did not explain where the money came from.
    
He said he found it revolting to be accused without basis of amassing wealth from corruption
because his detractors could have easily checked how the Duterte family made money in real estate
transactions.
    
Among the family-owned pieces of real estate property sold was a parcel of land in the village
of Ulas, where a biscuit factory used to be, according to  Duterte.
    
The President also mentioned about  a piece of land near an ice plant in the village of Dumoy
which he and his siblings agreed to sell, too.
    
He also mentioned another family-owned land in “Carriedo.”  No details were made available on
the land in Dumoy or Carriedo.
    
The President said his siblings wanted their hands on the lot near the ice plant in Dumoy
because it was prime property. So instead of quarreling, they decided to sell it.
    
“So when we divided (proceeds from the sale), we had our first millions already,” Duterte said.
    
He said all the money representing his share from the real estate deals were deposited with the
then “Insular Bank of Asia.”
    
He dared his  critics to do the math but he did not provide numbers.
    
“You have to compute it because that was the time we divided our properties when my father
died,” the President said.
    
Duterte’s father died in 1968.
    
All the lands sold sometime in the 1970s were in Talomo District where, according to Bureau of
Internal Revenue Order No. 97 in 2002, the value of land ranged from a low of P550 per square meters for
agricultural lots to a high of P4,500 per square meter for industrial ones.
    
Applying those rates, the Duterte property in Ulas village would have sold for P90 million.
    
Mr. Duterte said many people were knowledgeable about the real estate transactions and could
back up his narration because “a lot of them are still alive.”
    
“This, for all to know. You go back to the trace of … you have to trace it,” he said.
    
He said the lands that were sold and the ones he got as his share were part of “hereditary
properties.”
    
“But those titles now are in the name of my children. All (my) properties,”  Duterte said.
    
He also bared that his family’s wealth came from logging.
    
On his bank deposits, he said they could not be more than P600,000 because of expenses. “I have
more or less in the bank. It could be more than P500,000 something or below,” he said.
    
“Maybe almost nearing P500,000. That was my last. They should look at it,”  Duterte said.
    
The one in Unionbank. I hope (Sen. Antonio) Trillanes (IV) would see it,” he added.
    
Duterte said he was hoping some people would get enlightened by his narration.
    
“If you want really to trace my money, start from there (real estate deals),” he said.
    
He repeated a promise that if critics were able to prove that he had ill-gotten funds in the
banks, he would gladly resign as President.
    
“I am telling you, you show any bank account, foreign (or otherwise) and I will step down
tomorrow. I will do that. I am telling you the truth, you are all witnesses to my career,” the President
said.
    
He took another swipe at Trillanes, who had challenged the President to sign a bank secrecy
waiver.
    
Trillanes, he said, was simply hungry for power who “allowed himself to be jailed, then raised
funds through sympathy.”
    
“He knew how to, he’s that scheming,”  Duterte said.
    
Duterte said Trillanes knew the identity of the source of the senator’s account details.
    
He repeated his  promise to show proof of Trillanes’ hidden wealth.
    
“I will reveal it, just wait,”the President said.
    
Duterte claimed Trillanes avoided banking red flags by depositing amounts lower than the ceiling
for deposits to raise alarm for laundering.
    
“He has numerous accounts, small balances,” said Mr. Duterte of Trillanes’ supposed wealth.
“Because if you try to deposit large amounts, it would cause an alarm in the bank,” the President said.