MANILA— Senator Antonio Trillanes IV on Monday welcomed the decision of Senator Richard Gordon to invite presidential son and Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte and his brother-in-law Manases Carpio to the next Senate probe into the PHP 6.4-billion shabu shipment from China but stressed that Gordon had been pressured by public outrage.
In an interview on Monday, Gordon said he had already invited Duterte and Carpio and both have confirmed their attendance on Thursday (September 7).
“Buti naman nakaramdam na siya. Kung hindi siya nakaramdam ng public outrage magmamatigas pa. Bibigay din pala (It’s good he finally felt it. If he didn’t feel public outrage, he would still be stubborn),” Trillanes told reporters in an interview.
Customs broker Mark Taguba earlier tagged Duterte and Carpio in the illegal shipment. Taguba’s testimony prompted Trillanes’ move to invite the two and give them a chance to clear their names.
However, Trillanes and Gordon got into a heated argument as the latter appeared to be against inviting Duterte and Carpio for lack of evidence proving their links to the illegal shipment.
Meanwhile, Trillanes said it was hard to believe that the Gordon’s ethics complaint already had the signatures of 10 to 14 senators
“I will not take the word of Senator Gordon na meron siyang 14. Mahabang proseso yan, presentation of evidence, ipe-present yan sa plenaryo at ultimately pagbobotohan. It’s a long process, dun natin malalaman kung meron talaga siyang 14,” Trillanes told reporters in an ambush interview.
He also said he was ready to face Gordon’s ethics complaint which is set to be filed Monday.
“I’m confident na wala akong ginawang anything improper or anything unparliamentary (I’m confident that I didn’t do anything improper or unparliamentary),” Trillanes said.
On Thursday (August 31), Gordon threatened to file an ethics complaint against Trillanes for being “out of order” and calling his committee a “committee de abswelto” or a committee that easily acquitted powerful people such as Duterte and Carpio.
Gordon reiterated that contrary to Trillanes’ claim, he is not leading a “committee de abswelto” and merely wanted more evidence to call for their presence.