Philippines senator claims Duterte’s common-law wife stashed millions in bank accounts
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Philippines senator claims Duterte’s common-law wife stashed millions in bank accounts

THE common-law wife of Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has reportedly stashed nearly PHP200 million (US$4 mil) in separate accounts, according to documents released by a senator on Thursday.

The revelation by the senator adds to previous allegations that Duterte, who adopted a hard-line stance against corruption, made PHP2.2 billion (US$44 mil) in personal bank transactions over a certain number of years.

During a press conference, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, released a 18-page document which showed Duterte’s partner, Cielito “Honeylet” Salvador-Avanceña, had a total of PHP187,159,085.90 (US$3.7 mil) in bank transactions from July 14, 2004 to March 4, 2016, the Inquirer reported.

According to the news site, the biggest recorded transaction amounting to PHP4,349,709 (US$87,090) was made Dec 29, 2014. The money was deposited in Avanceña’s account at the Bank of the Philippine Island (BPI) in its main branch in Davao, Duterte’s hometown.

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On May 13, 2015, Avanceña’s account at the BPI main-Davao had also recorded P3,112,010.54 (US$62,246) and another PHP3,085,136.54 (US$61,708) in inter-account transfers, the document alleged. It also said between Jan and Feb 2016, Avanceña’s account at the bank saw the movement of several millions of pesos in transfers.

In April last year, Trillanes alleged that Duterte had made PHP2.2 billion in bank deposits in the span of a decade.

Duterte denied having amassed huge sums of money from graft activities that have largely gone undeclared over recent years.

In December last year, Duterte made a public confession of a summary execution, claiming he had once thrown a suspected kidnapper out of a helicopter mid-flight during his time as Davao city mayor.

His admission was a warning to corrupt officials who he threatened would suffer the same fate in the government’s anti-corruption drive, referring to how he dealt with criminals in the past.

“If you are corrupt I will fetch you with a helicopter and I will throw you out on the way to Manila,” Duterte was quoted as saying.

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“I have done that before, why should I not do it again?”

Duterte made the threat against corrupt officials during a speech at the Camarines Sur provincial capitol following his visit Typhoon Nina-hit disaster areas. He said much like his war on drugs, the anti-corruption campaign will be a main focus during his six-year term.

Since Duterte entered office in June, more than 7,000 people have been killed in his war on drugs, some half of which at the hands of the police and the remaining number by vigilante groups.