Senator Antonio Trillanes IV took exception to a Palace remark that it would be up to the Department of Justice (DOJ) to probe into allegations that he committed treason when he met with US government officials to discuss corruption and human rights issues in the Philippines.
“Nagtraydor daw ako sa bayan dahil nakipagusap ako kay US Sen. Marco Rubio kahit pa sinabi na nya mismo na PH-US alliance, corruption and human rights situation ang pinagusapan namin,” Trillanes said in a statement Monday.
“Ano naman ngayon ang tawag sa mga protektor ng isang presidenteng pumatay at nagpapapatay ng mga Pilipino, mga bayani? Pwede ba, umayos kayo!” the senator said.
In a radio interview on Sunday, Communications Secretary Martin Andanar was asked to comment on whether Trillanes should be charged with treason.
Andanar said it would be up to the DOJ to study such “legal matters.”
“‘Yan ay pag-aaralan ng Department of Justice, pag-aaralan ‘yan ng mga abogado ng ating Pangulo, sapagka’t ito rin po ay mga legal matters ‘no. Eh tayo naman ay kung ano iyong nararapat lang ay dapat lang,” Andanar said.
Trillanes had confirmed he met with senior US government officials, including Senator Marco Rubio. He said his meeting with Rubio focused on “enhancing RP-US relations, corruption, and the human rights situation in the country.”
Trillanes denied a newspaper report that he went to the US to convince officials to stop the state visit of US President Donald Trump scheduled next month.
Last year, Rubio and two other American senators wrote a letter to US State Department expressing “grave concern about the campaign of extrajudicial killings and human rights violations” under the Duterte administration.
Trillanes, a staunch critic of the president, said he “pushed for the interests of our country” which are “not necessarily the same as the interests of Mr. Duterte.” — VDS, GMA News