A better sanctuary

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Comeuppance is fast gaining on Sen. Sonny Trillanes as he faces more libel cases over his previous cocky statements directed against President Rody Duterte and members of his family.

Trillanes has been the designated attack dog of the yellow mob in the oust-Duterte movement.

Former Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte had filed two new libel cases against Trillanes over his allegations of Paolo’s connection with the P6.4-billion shabu smuggled into the Philippines from China.

During the Senate hearing on the issue, Trillanes had the benefit of parliamentary immunity on his bellicose behavior but speaking outside the chamber, the senator became liable.

Paolo’s lawyer Rainier Madrid said the new libel cases stemmed from Trillanes’ statements over DZMM and on CNN Philippines where he accused President Duterte’s son as the perpetrator of shabu shipment and being a drug lord during live interviews.

The cases were separate from previous libel cases filed by Paolo and his brother-in-law Mans Carpio over Trillanes’ allegations on purported corruption and extortion involving ride-hailing service UBER and other similar companies which Trillanes alleged during an interview in Cebu City.

Last week, Labor undersecretary Jacinto “Jing” Paras also slapped Trillanes with inciting to sedition charges for attacking President Rody Duterte in his press briefings in his Senate sanctuary.

Trillanes was similarly charged with sedition after suggesting in March last year that the military should rebel against Rody.

Trillanes, prior to his Senate campout, has been exploiting media hostile to Rody to do his greatest damage while at the same time hoping to erode the popularity of the President.
These efforts have been futile as Rody continues to have more than 70 percent survey ratings despite all the vile, unfounded allegations hurled against him.

As a result of poor efforts to bolster his hidden wealth allegations against Rody, for instance, Trillanes uttered in a privilege speech, “If the soldiers see this (hidden wealth), they will use an M60 machine gun on you (Duterte) because these are many. The magazines will be emptied if you’re looking for P40 million.”

He also authored the new figure of 20,000 extrajudicial killings (EJK) in the war on drugs, also in a privilege speech.

He manufactured the number after the claim of 13,000 EJK was disputed by government figures.

Yellow-friendly news outlets particularly those overseas, which care little for official figures, started to use the data supplied by Trillanes and is still quoted in stories against the war on drugs until now.

“While the country continues to laugh at the lewd jokes of Duterte, more than 20,000 of our countrymen have been killed,” Trillanes said in his privilege speech.

Trillanes has not left the Senate for more than two weeks after the issuance of Proclamation 572 which voided his amnesty for leading mutinies against former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

The embattled senator, thus, again faces his revived cases before military and regular courts on his instigation of the Oakwood mutiny, the Fort Bonifacio standoff and the Manila Peninsula siege.

Trillanes should face more serious allegations aside from the mutiny, coup d’etat or libel cases as the government should go back to former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile who in one confrontation with Trillanes revealed the possibility of the abrasive senator committing treason.

During a faceoff sometime in 2012, Enrile read notes of former Philippine Ambassador to China Sonia Brady which indicated, among others, that Trillanes as a backchannel negotiator of then President Noynoy Aquino stated to the Chinese that “no one cares about Panatag Shoal in the Philippines.”

Panatag is also called Scarborough Shoal which, through the independent foreign policy of Rody, resulted in a relaxation of tensions with China, thus allowing Filipino fishermen to again ply their trade without being disturbed by Chinese ships.

Trillanes also said, based on the Brady notes, that the Philippines “cannot enforce coastal protection.”

The statements of Trillanes showed where his true interest lies.

His past and current actions prove Trillanes deserves to be either in a military stockade or in a New Bilibid Prison cell for a campout instead of his Senate office.

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