Senator Antonio Trillanes IV on Friday confirmed meeting with senior officials of the US government but denied he sought to stop the expected state visit of US President Donald Trump for the ASEAN Summit in November.
According to a report by Nimfa Ravelo on dzBB, Trillanes said in a statement that the US President's trips are carefully planned and could not be hindered by a suggestion of a senator from the Philippines.
Senator Marco Rubio is a known critic of President Rodrigo Duterte's war against illegal drugs.
But unlike administration officials, Trillanes only presented "factual information" in his meetings with American politicians, according to the statement.
"Besides, you cannot fool the US government; they know what's happening in our country," Trillanes' statement said.
Trillanes assured the public that he promoted Philippine interests in his trip, but emphasized that "the interests of our country are not necessarily the same as the interests of Mr. Duterte."
Prior to Trillanes' confirmation, presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella on Thursday said the senator was indeed in the US, and that he hoped Trillanes would not spread "biased" information about the Philippine government.
"We do hope the correct information is given and not biased information designed to adversely affect Philippine-US relations," Abella said in a press briefing in Malacañang.
The opposition senator is a staunch critic of Duterte and his policies. His allegations of the President's multi-billion-peso wealth have prompted a probe by the Ombudsman into the first family's bank accounts, a move that did not sit well with Duterte.
Following the announcement of an investigation by the Ombudsman, Duterte had threatened to create a commission to probe alleged corruption and partiality in the Office of the Ombudsman.
The Office of the Ombudsman, for its part, had said: "Sorry, Mr. President, but this Office shall not be intimidated." —Nicole-Anne C. Lagrimas/KG, GMA News