President Rodrigo Duterte advised lawyer Jude Sabio to “just tell the truth” after the latter expressed openness to testify in the sedition case filed against former Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV and several other personalities from the opposition.
Speaking to Palace reporters Tuesday evening, the President said he is willing to have a face-to-face with Sabio if he will be truthful about everything he knows over Trillanes’ alleged plot to overthrow the administration.
“You know frankly, I have not met nor talked to the guy. What prompted his change of heart? I really don’t know. I will be speculating,” Mr. Duterte said.
“So, unless we talk and I’m able to ask him why and what’s the truth, and he says he wants to testify. I will tell him ‘You just tell the truth’,” he added.
Sabio and Trillanes’ professional relationship went sour after the former senator reportedly failed to pay over the P700,000 he owes to Sabio for services rendered to self-confessed Davao death squad member Edgar Matobato.
It be recalled that Matobato linked the President to extrajudicial killings in Davao in 2016.
Sabio also said he thinks Trillanes, one of the President’s staunchest critics, could have a “deep involvement” in the controversial “Ang Totoong Narcolist” (The Real Narcolist) viral videos which narrated the alleged connection of the President, his family to the illegal drugs trade.
“If the truth favors Trillanes and all, fine. If it favors… it was filed, but not me. I never filed. I can talk to anybody,” stated Mr. Duterte.
Sabio was the lawyer who filed one of the two communications against the Chief Executive before the International Criminal Court over the administration’s campaign against illegal drugs.