Trillanes: No PNoy 'shadow Cabinet'

by RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 20 2012 11:50 PM | Updated as of Sep 21 2012 07:33 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Senator Antonio Trillanes IV on Thursday flatly denied that he is part of any shadow Cabinet in the Aquino administration.

Trillanes said there is no shadow Cabinet. "No. I'm an ally of the President, but I'm not even that close to the President. No such thing (shadow Cabinet)."

While speaking with a humbler tone, Trillanes however stood pat on his campaign to have Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile replaced as head of the upper chamber. "Yes I will (work on ousting Enrile). He should expect that. Wala namang security of tenure sa Senate presidency."

He said he has no plans of becoming Senate president, insisting that either Senator Manny Villar or Franklin Drilon can take the job.

Trillanes brushed of what he calls "melodramatics " from Enrile's side.

He said he cannot speak for other senators.

Trillanes hinted he has more aces up his sleeve against Enrile. "Alam niyo, ganun lang naman iyon. Kung baka, merong bala sila. Eh baka may bala din tayo. Baka marunong din naman tayo mag-research and do some some intel work."

"kung umiikot ka lang mag-isa, wala kang follower," he said.

Trillanes supported Malacañan's decision to send Interior Secretary Mar Roxas to China as special envoy.

"It's perfect. Perfect choice, he's close to the President, he's the party leader. He's the anointed presidential candidate in 2016 and from what I heard, he will meet the vice-president and incoming president of China," he said.

Trillanes maintained his mission to China is done. "I don't need this. It's taking a lot of time," he said.

Trillanes also dismissed comments from the camp of former President Arroyo."Ano bang credibility factor ng statements ng GMA camp or believability percentage? It's up to the people."

"Explain what happened and hindi pwedeng ma-trigger, di pwedeng magkaroon ng ganiyang irrational behavior si Senator Enrile for nothing. He admitted he was pressured. Nobody can pressure him like GMA. Alam nung insiders gaano kadikit yung dalawa. They can deny all they want," he said.

Trillanes remains unfazed by the possibility that this might cost him the elections next year. "I'm a fatalist. Naalala ba natin the 2007 odds we faced? Nakakulong ako, wala kaming makinarya but the people decided, dinaya pa tayo."

He said he has no regrets despite what happened, saying many have approached him to express support.

Trillanes held out the possibility that he and Enrile may patch things up. "It's up to him. Sabi ko naman, di ako magsasalita ng tapos. Kahit ganito ako, if I rub off someone as brash and cocky, I can have a soft heart so on my part, it's up to him."

He said Palace spokesman Edwin Lacierda was not privy to his conversation with Executive Secretary Jojo Ochoa when the latter recruited him to the effort to backchannel with China.

Trillanes maintained he is not a foreign policy expert.

"Sabi ko nga, I never pretended to be an expert on anything. My designation as envoy was incidental, but the bottom line is, we were able to get the job done regardless of lack of experience. We're still in this vastly improved situation."

He said he came forward because he felt he needed to defend himself after how he was reported in the media.

Trillanes was gracious when it came to former President Joseph Estrada, who called him ungrateful. "Salamat po. We cannot bring back the past. We will just have to regret for the rest of their lives kung ganun nararamdaman nila. I value friendship, I appreciate all those who helped me. Tumatanaw tayo ng utang na loob."