MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte likened Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV’s attacks on him and his family to a form of verbal terrorism, calling him a “political ISIS,” and hinted the former Navy officer turned politician is mentally unstable.
Responding to Senator Antonio Trillanes’ allegations against his son, Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo “Pulong” Duterte and son-in-law Atty. Manasas Carpio, the President stressed the importance of evidence, adding that a case cannot be filed based on hearsay.
In remarks after gracing the birthday of Davao Rep. Karlo Alexie Nograles and induction into the ruling PDP Laban party, Duterte said Trillanes is on a “fishing expedition” during Senate hearings.
“Si Trillanes nga political ISIS eh. Walang alam, basta gusto, bira lang nang bira, akala niya, tama siya. Ang nakakatawa diyan, kasi when he talks, it is as if talagang alam niya ang batas [Trillanes is a political ISIS. He just keeps attackiong even when he doesn’t know much; he always thinks he’s right. The funny thing is, when he speaks, he sounds as if he truly knows the law] ,” Duterte said.
“Sinong tatawagin niyo? Ako, ang advice ko kay Pulong? Punta ka doon, then pagdating mo [My advice to Pulong? Go there] and if he throws questions, sabihin mo lang na, “I will not answer you, I’m invoking my right of silence kasi nung eleksyon pa, hindi pa Presidente ang tatay ko, binibira mo na kami,” he said.
“Pulong” is the nickname of Vice Mayor Duterte, whom Trillanes had tried to link to a “Davao Group” that was involved in influence-peddling in Customs. Trillanes sought in vain last week to get the blue-ribbon panel to summon the Davao vice mayor and his brother-in-law Atty. Carpio, but when the panel chairman Sen. Richard Gordon refused to do so, the two senators engaged in a heated argument and nearly came to blows.
Openly addressing Trillanes late Saturday, the President said, “So if you want evidence, Mr. Trililing, do not get it from the mouth of other people. Go somewhere else. ‘Yung tinitira mo, gusto mo ring ipitin. Hindi ka abogado, hindi ka marunong niyan [You want to pin down the persons you’ve been attacking, but you’re not a lawyer, you don’t know a lot of things].”
The President used “Trililing” as a play on the senator’s name, to mock him as someone who is mentally unstable.
Replying to Duterte’s remarks, Trillaes said Sunday, “I will not stoop down to his level of name-calling. The bottom line is this: his son and son-in-law were named as the masterminds behind the Davao Group and are being suspected of being involved in smuggling operations that led to the express entry of the 6.4 billion-peso shabu shipment into the country.”
Trillanes added, “Those are not my allegations but information extracted from Sen. Gordon’s witnesses during the hearings. Moreover, this is not the first time that Paolo Duterte has been involved in smuggling and illegal drugs. Way back in 2007, there were derogatory reports from the NBI and the Presidential Anti-Smuggling Group about Paolo Duterte’s involvement in smuggling in BoC in Davao City Port. Then Edgar Matobato also testified about Paolo’s dealings with Customs officials in Davao City. Lastly, in [former police officer Arturo] Lascañas’ testimony, he was mentioned as having helped a certain Charlie Tan in drug smuggling.”
Duterte is in “panic” mode, added Trillanes, because “the illegal activities of his family are about to be revealed. No wonder they have billions in the bank.”