Trillanes says he expects 'worst' from Duterte, allies after Senate exit


Posted at Jun 11 2019 09:42 AM

Outgoing senator Antonio “Sonny” Trillanes talks to the media during a “Kapihan” session at the Philippine Senate in Pasay City on June 6, 2019. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA -- Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV said Tuesday he was expecting the "worst" from his nemesis, President Rodrigo Duterte, after he steps down from office in July.

Trillanes, who investigated alleged death squad killings and drug smuggling linked to the President and his family, said he expected more cases to be filed against him.

"I'm expecting the worst from Mr. Duterte and his people, but I'm a very patient man," Trillanes told ANC. 

"Should he succeed in putting me behind bars, then I'll just count the days, same way as I counted the days when we were behind bars during the Arroyo administration. Eventually, their time in power ran out," he said.

The former Navy rebel sought refuge for weeks in his Senate office last year after Duterte revoked amnesty that he secured in 2010 over failed uprisings in 2003 and 2007

Trillanes was detained for 7 years for the uprisings against Arroyo. He was first elected to the Senate in 2007, campaigning from behind bars. He was reelected in 2013 and was not eligible for third straight term in the last elections.

Asked why he refrained from seeking another elective post in the May polls, Trillanes said, "I'm really not comfortable doing that... More importantly, I believe it would send a stronger message that I can be an ordinary citizen and still speak out against this dictator, Duterte."

"I'm not afraid of him. That's going to be a message to the Filipino people that you can stand up and speak for the truth," he added. 

Trillanes also said he would "be looking forward" to Senator-elect Christopher Go's planned legislative inquiry on his alleged involvement in viral anti-Duterte videos that were circulated before the May 13 polls.

"Now that he's a senator, it doesn't mean that he's already mastered the terrain. We shall see how that would turn out," said Trillanes. 

Peter Joemel Advincula, who said he was the hooded figure "Bikoy" in the videos, accused Trillanes and the Liberal Party of fabricating the drug allegations against Duterte to boost the candidacy of the opposition's Senate candidates. 

Trillanes said he would present later Tuesday a video and text messages to show that the videos were Advincula's idea and that he gave information "voluntarily."

The senator said he would "most definitely" pursue legal action against Advincula. 

"There's so many cases being lined up against this fellow, but what we need to do first is demolish his credibility because he's not telling the truth," he said. 

Trillanes said he asked several foreign and local institutions to check several bank accounts allegedly used to store drug money, based on documents provided by 2 of Advincula's companions.

Trillanes said he was also talking to several universities he declined to name about teaching public administration and policy analysis after his Senate stint. 

Asked if he would seek public office again in 2022, he said, "For now, I'm not inclined to. But then, who knows down the road what will happen."