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Trillanes files plunder complaint against Gordon

Senator Antonio Trillanes IV on Wednesday filed a plunder complaint against his colleague, Senator Richard Gordon, over his alleged corrupt practices as chairman of the Philippine Red Cross (PRC).

In a 22-page complaint-affidavit filed before the Office of the Ombudsman, Trillanes accused Gordon of using his Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF) worth P193 million between 2004 to 2011 in favor of Red Cross, saying the lawmaker conspired with his co-accused, former Red Cross secretary general Gwendolyn Pang, for the funding of anomalous projects.

Trillanes said these projects were undertaken without the approval of the Red Cross' board of governors and without public budding as mandated by government procurement rules for PDAF-funded programs.

He also claimed that part of the P200-million Red Cross funds, P193 million came from the Gordon's PDAF, were used to fund Gordon's presidential and senatorial campaign in 2010 and 2013, respectively.

"These reports of anomalous transactions of then PRC Secretary General Ms. Gwendolyn Pang were first widely circulated via anonymous email with attached photocopies of the official receipts and related documents in June 2012," Trillanes said in the complaint-affidavit.

"The allegations had to do with the use of PRC funds by Ms. Pang to finance projects purportedly intended to boost the candidacy of Senator Gordon, who ran for president in 2010 and for senator in 2013," he added.

He said Red Cross, under Gordon's leadership, still has unliquidated PDAF cash advances worth P90.17 million as of March 31, 2012.

Trillanes also charged Gordon for violation of Section 14 of Article VI of the 1986 Constitution and the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials for his alleged financial interests at Red Cross and for performing his duties as its trustee despite being an incumbent senator.

He alleged charged Gordon with graft for giving undue preference to Red Cross, at least five counts of malversation of public funds for the anomalous transactions used to cover for his candidacy, and violation of the Government Procurement Reform Act for failure to conduct a public bidding.

In an interview with reporters, Trillanes clarified that there was no irregularity in allocating public funds to the Red Cross.

"(Red Cross) is a highly respected insitution pero ang problema nga, siya yung nagdi-disburse bilang chairman at yung PDAF allocation dini-disburse niya not with the concurrence of the governors at the same time walang koneksyon sa mandato ng Red Cross yung pinagkakagastusan," the lawmaker said.

Trillanes laso accused Gordon of amassing ill-gotten wealth for the PDAF allocations and other alleged irregularities during his time as chairman of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority.

Trillanes was confident that the Ombudsman would unravel these acts when it conducts its investigations on the charges he filed against Gordon.

"Lalabas na 'yan sa investigation ng Ombudamsn dahil puwede sila mag-access ng other documents. Pero pambungad pa lang 'to, meron tayong information na nakukuha na anomalies sa Subic," he said.

Gordon has yet to issue a statement on Trillanes' filing of plunder complaint against him.

Trillanes bared his intention to file a plunder complaint against Gordon over the alleged misuse of PDAF on Tuesday.

Gordon is the second public official sued by Trillanes at the Ombudsman following the multiple criminal charges he filed against Presidential Communications Operations Office Assistant Secretary Esther Margaux “Mocha” Uson in September for allegedly spearheading the spread of fake news over his supposed offshore bank accounts.

Gordon had said he was ready to answer allegations to be hurled against him by Trillanes over his role at the Red Cross. He also maintained that he does not get paid for his work at the humanitarian organization.

Not a saint

Meanwhile, Trillanes said he has nothing to fear in case Gordon decides to file a counter case against him, saying he only wanted to expose his colleague's hypocrisy.

"Wala naman akong tinatago, e yung amo niyang si President Duterte walang makita sa akin siya pa. Wala naman tayong ginagawang mali pero dito n'yo makikita yung hyprocisy na kung mag-preach siya doon sa Senate blue ribbon committee akala mo santo, 'yun pala ganito ang ginagawa," Trillanes said.

Trillanes added that he has nothing personal against Gordon.

"Hindi 'to personal kasi hindi 'to drawing. Hindi 'to inimbento lang, so totoong kaso ito so bahala na siya magdepensa sa Ombudsman. Wala akong personal na interes kay Senator Gordon," Trillanes said.

"Gusto ko sana makuha yung katotohanan dun sa mga inimbestigahan namin sa Senado na siya ang chairman, kaso ginamit niya yung position niya bilang chairman para pagtakpan yung mga kasalanan ni Duterte at ng kanyang pamilya. Yun ang nagiging problem dito, nagiging hadlang siya sa katotohanan," he added. —ALG, GMA News