MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Former Marcos lawyer Oliver Lozano filed with the Ombudsman on Friday a complaint-affidavit charging President Benigno Aquino III and Senator Antonio Trillanes IV of treason in the wake of back channel talks with China in connection with territorial disputes in the West Philippine Sea.
In his 5-page complaint, Lozano claimed bringing the matter before the anti-graft office will put an end to the "legal dispute" on whether there is truth to speculations that Trillanes "desires China's support in his alleged Presidential ambition."
Lozano cited Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile's interpellation of Trillanes on Wednesday where Enrile accused the neophyte senator of clandestine talks with a "potential enemy" of the state.
Lozano cited media accounts of the heated exchange between the two lawmakers, stating that these are "admissible evidence."
"In order to close the Enrile-Trillanes controversy through due process... I, Atty. Oliver O. Lozano, hereby charge for Treason Pres. Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III and Sen. Antonio Trillabes IV, by way of test case, committed as follows: with alleged go-signal of Pres. Aquino, Sen. Trillanes surreptitiously negotiated with Chinese officials regarding the Philippines-China Sea dispute in order to benefit China to the prejudice of the Philippines amounting to Treason," the complaint read.
The Philippines and China are both laying claim over the Spratlys and Scarborough Shoal in the West Philippine Sea.
The Place shrugged off Lozano's allegations.
"Atty. Lozano should know that a sitting President can only be removed from office via impeachment," deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said.