Trillanes vows to return to PH after Europe trip: 'I am not escaping'

Jofelle Tesorio, ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau

Posted at Dec 14 2018 09:10 AM

Trillanes vows to return to PH after Europe trip: 'I am not escaping' 1
Senator Antonio Trillanes IV after his talk at the University of Amsterdam. Jofelle Tesorio, ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau

AMSTERDAM - Senator Antonio Trillanes IV said he is not escaping from anything after he left the country for Europe last Tuesday.

In an exclusive interview after his talk at the University of Amsterdam on Wednesday, the senator said he is here to fulfill his commitments such as giving talks to universities and meeting Filipino communities.

Trillanes left the country after filing a bail bond before a Pasay court for libel cases filed against him by President Rodrigo Duterte's son, Paolo.

He is also out on bail on rebellion charges after Duterte withdrew the amnesty given to him by former President Benigno Aquino III.

“Definitely, babalik po ako sa ating bayan as scheduled sa January 11. Kaya antabayanan lang iyong pagbabalik ko para makita nila na hindi tayo tumatakas sa kung ano. At ako naman ay naniniwala na bumabaliktad na ang ihip ng panahon. So ngayon pa ba ako aalis? Hindi iyan. Hindi mangyayari yan,” said Trillanes.

(I’ll definitely return to our country as scheduled on January 11. They just have to wait for my return so they’ll see that I’m not escaping from anything. I believe that the winds have changed. Am I going to leave now? It’s not going to happen.)

In his talk before students and faculty of the University of Amsterdam, he explained the case of the Philippines particularly the extrajudicial killings, the erosion of rule of law and the close relationship of China and the Philippines under Duterte.

Trillanes said the president is utilizing tactics “straight out of the dictator’s playbook."

But he is optimistic that there will be changes soon since support for the President is dwindling and “cracks in government are slowly showing."

The talk was through an invitation from the Amsterdam Institute for Social Sciences Research of the University of Amsterdam. It conducts regular lecture series on Asia. The topic of Trillanes’ talk was democracy and rule of law in the Philippines.

Questions from the audience ranged from the role of civil society, opposition, and the Catholic Church and the new hegemonic relationship of the Philippines and China.

The senator also visited an environmental agency in The Netherlands that works on sustainable energy, flood control and water management, and environmental hazards.

Trillanes is also set to speak before students at the University of Leiden and will travel to the UK and Spain before heading back to the Philippines in January 11.