Senator Antonio Trillanes IV apparently wants to buy the controversial Mercedes Benz of President Rodrigo Duterte, who first revealed about it last Sunday, March 12 during the 35th anniversary celebration of the ruling PDP-Laban party. The president later explained why he does not need to include it in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN).
“Ito nga totoo eh, nagbigay sa akin Mercedes-Benz, totoo ‘yun. Punta ka sa PSG, nandiyan sa compound… Nagmamagandang-loob, sabi ko okay. Hindi ko tinatanggap, lagay ko lang diyan. Interesado ang sinong taxpayer, bilhin mo sa gobyerno, ipagbili ko.” President Duterte said, adding that he is only used to ride in a pick-up, and not a car.
This Monday, the president talked about it again in a press conference in Malacañang. This time, he stressed out that he is not required to include the said Mercedes Benz in his SALN, simply because it is not registered under his name, and even joked about it.
“Girlfriend ko. May mayaman ako na girlfriend noon. She has millions in America. Hindi kasi, sinauli ko, ayaw niya tanggapin. Alangan naman iwan ko iyan sa San Marcelino. Baka mawala iyan bukas, sabihin kinuha ko na.” President Duterte joked, as who tried to give it to him as a gift. Nevertheless, he said he could be charged of graft if he accepted it.
This Tuesday, Sen. Trillanes appeared to have showed interest in buying the said Mercedes Benz gift to President Duterte. In an ambush interview with reporters, he said he sees nothing wrong with lawmakers like him, in buying luxury cars. He emphasized that he can buy it as long as the money came from his own pocket, and not from the government.
Back in October 2014, the United Nacionalist Alliance (UNA), the political party of then-Vice President Jejomar Binay accused Trillanes of having several luxury cars. As a defense, he said that the 5 Delicas are owned by his mother, adding that he never owned a Pajero. The senator said he only owned that time a second-hand 1996 Nissan Terrano.
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