MANILA - Former Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte will file criminal and civil complaints against Senator Antonio Trillanes for allegedly linking him to a P6.4 billion shabu cache smuggled into the country last year.
President Rodrigo Duterte's son said he will take Trillanes to court for “viciously destroying my name, maligning my reputation and integrity, and for deliberately manufacturing lies and spreading black propaganda against me.”
Trillanes, in a Senate hearing, showed photos of the younger Duterte with Kenneth Dong, an alleged middleman who allegedly facilitated the multi-billion peso shabu haul in the port of Manila in May 2017.
The senator also alleged that the President's son has a tattoo on his back which will prove that he is part of a "triad" or international crime syndicate. The younger Duterte refused to show his back during the hearing, invoking his right to privacy.
In his statement, the younger Duterte said Trillanes made the allegations "with a view to impacting negatively against our beloved President."
Trillanes' parliamentary immunity, he said, does not extend to the alleged libelous remarks he made during media interviews and outside of the Senate inquiry.
'I HAD BASIS - TRILLANES'
In response, Trillanes said the former vice mayor's criminal and civil complaints against him are "frivolous and trumped up charges."
"They have been filing trumped up charges. This is another frivolous lawsuit that is meant to harass or divert my attention," Trillanes said in an interview on ANC.
"I will face that lawsuit squarely. Clearly, I had a basis to link his (Paolo Duterte) name in the shabu shipment. It's not as if I just took his name out from thin air and dragged it or linked it to this whole mess," he said.
The senator alleged that cases were filed against him and other opposition lawmakers as a way "to muzzle dissenting voices."
Kidnapping charges were filed against Senator Risa Hontiveros last year for taking custody of the witnesses to the killing of Caloocan teenager Kian Loyd delos Santos.
Drug-related cases were also filed against opposition Senator Leila De Lima after she launched a congressional probe against extrajudicial killings under the Duterte administration's bloody war on drugs.
"The Duterte administration has bastardized the political system against the members of the political opposition," Trillanes said.
"They have been finding ways to deal with people like me to muzzle the dissenting voice," he added.
Paolo Duterte in December also lodged a civil damage suit against Trillanes over the latter's claims that the former local official was involved in graft and corruption.
Duterte resigned as Davao vice-mayor last December 25, 2017 out of delicadeza, citing "recent unfortunate events in my life that are closely tied to my failed first marriage."
"These, among others, include the maligning of my reputation in the recent name dropping incident in the Bureau of Customs
smuggling case and the very public squabble with my daughter. The other person in this failed relationship is incorrigible and cannot be controlled And I take responsibility for all that has happened as a result of a wrong decision to marry at a very young age," he said in a statement.