Trillanes: 'It's nothing but another harassment suit'
MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte's son Paolo Duterte and son-in-law Manases Carpio have lodged a P6.6-million "damage suit" against fierce critic Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV over his corruption allegations against them.
Duterte's lawyer Rainier Madrid said the civil suit does not concern Trillanes' accusations against the two in connection with the shabu shipment that had triggered investigations against the Bureau of Customs.
Instead, the case was based on Trillanes' supposed claims linking the two in a scheme to extort money from ride-hailing firms.
"The subject matter (of the case) is not the P6.4 billion drug smuggling. It's a damage suit based on [the] libelous accusation by Trillanes against my clients for alleged corruption and graft for the purported Uber franchise and other similar corporations," Madrid told ABS-CBN News.
Trillanes called the case "another harassment suit," saying "our corrupt and coopted justice system has become the refuge of the Duterte scoundrels."
"Just be sure that you'd be in power forever because I have made it my life's mission to make your murderous and corrupt clan accountable for your actions," said Trillanes, who has accused the President and his family of corruption.
In a 6-page civil case filed before the Davao City Regional Trial Court this week, Duterte and Carpio said Trillanes had accused them of conspiring with transportation ang public works officials to extort money from Uber and other similar ride-sharing firms.
Trillanes supposedly made the allegations during an interview with DYAB Cebu radio.
"It is a political black propaganda at its worst, at the expense, damage, and prejudice of the Duterte family," the complaint read.
The brothers-in-law are seeking P3 million for moral damages, another P3 million for exemplary damages, P500,000 for attorney's fees, and P100,000 for nominal damages.
Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said she supported her husband's and brother's decision to sue the opposition senator.
"Mabuti naman at ginawan na nila ng aksyon... They are within their right. What Trillanes did to them is too much," the Davao Mayor told reporters in a press conference Friday morning.
The Davao Mayor agreed with Trillanes' comment that the case was "harassment."
"My husband (Mans Carpio) is not a public official. He is a private property. Hinarass niya rin ang asawa ko kaya tama na ring sabihin na hinarass din siya," she said.
Trillanes has been one of the most vocal critics of President Rodrigo Duterte and his family.
In September, Trillanes accused Paolo Duterte of involvement in smuggling and being a member of a drug triad, citing a supposed tattoo on his back as proof.
Trillanes has also accused the President of keeping hidden wealth, prompting an Ombudsman investigation.
The Dutertes have many times denied Trillanes' allegations.
Paolo Duterte recently resigned from his post citing "recent unfortunate events" in his life, including corruption allegations and his public spat with his daughter Isabelle.