MANILA - Senator Antonio Trillanes IV on Saturday publicly ended his friendship with Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque after months of trading barbs over differences in political opinion, most recently over President Rodrigo Duterte's order voiding his amnesty.
Earlier this year, Roque described the opposition lawmaker as his ally in previous battles.
During the administration of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Roque was known as a vocal critic and human rights defender who lauded Trillanes for mounting two uprisings over corruption in the military.
The rift between Trillanes and Roque began after the lawyer joined President Rodrigo Duterte's communications team last year and served as the chief executive's spokesperson.
"Nung sumama siya sa dark side, nagkasolian na ng kandila," Trillanes told reporters.
(When he joined the dark side, we ended our friendship.)
"We can be civil but wala eh, he has thrown away [his] principles," he said.
Roque earlier defended the executive's move to issue Proclamation No. 572 that sought Trillanes' arrest over an allegedly invalid amnesty application. Roque said Trillanes' looming arrest was a consequence of his actions.
“If he did not participate in the Oakwood mutiny and Manila Peninsula siege, he would not have this case,” Roque said.
Trillanes described the proclamation as "political persecution" as the grounds for the nullification of his amnesty were allegedly baseless. The senator said the proclamation was "illegal" as the executive branch has no power to issue arrest warrants.
Roque, a former sectoral representative known to be eyeing a Senate seat, is now just an "acquaintance," Trillanes said.
"In this case we will have to make this permanent para hindi na makakabalik yung mga masasama," he said.
(In this case we will have to make this permanent so that the evil won't have a chance to come back.)
"Dito din natin nalalaman kung sino 'yung ma-prinsipyo," he said.
(This is also how we know who are principled.)