Sen. Antonio F. Trillanes IV yesterday accused President Duterte of being the brains behind the continued killing of suspected drug pushers or criminals from the time he was the Davao City Mayor from 1988 to 2013 and to the first four months of his six-year term as Philippine President.
The total is now close to 5,000 victims of summary or extrajudicial killings with the first 1,000 victims during the 1988-2013 period when Duterte was the Davao City Mayor, Trillanes said.
Trillanes also said elected officials, including his fellow senators, who condone the summary killings or extra-judicial killings by not objecting vehemently to them or choosing to close their eyes are collaborators to the evil deeds of the Duterte administration.
He accused the apologists of Duterte of being dishonest or are engaged in intellectual dishonesty.
Trillanes asked senators and congressmen why they ran for elective offices only to become blind followers or refuse to push for the right things. (Mario B. Casayuran)
Stung by criticisms by the United States, the United Nations and the European Union (EU) of alleged violation of the human rights of the 4,000 EJK victims during President Duterte’s current term, Duterte has adopted a so-called ‘’independent foreign policy’’ and is now warming up to China and Russia, Trillanes said.
In international relations, one does not spurn an old ally while seeking friendship with other countries, he said.
In fact, both the US and China have healthy economic relationship, he added. The US owes China more than $1 trillion.
Trillanes said the decision of the US State Department to stop the projected sale of 26,000 assault rifles to the Philippine National Police (PNP) is the harbinger of bad times for the Philippines since the US does not take lying down President Duterte’s expletives such as ‘’go to hell’’ or a ‘’son of a whore’’ against US President Barack Obama.
Duterte’s threat to kick Obama ‘’is unprovoked,’’he added.
The officers’ corps of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is ‘’not comfortable’’ with Duterte collaborating with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).
The Duterte administration and the CPP. including the New People’s Army (NPA) and the National Democratic Front), are currently negotiating for an end to the insurgency problem that has plagued the country for more than four decades.
He said Duterte’s refusal to tell the police to stop the killings on pain of legal sanctions is an indication that he has adopted a policy of wiping out those linked to the illegal drug trade, Trillanes said.
Trillanes warned Duterte that he would face the legal consequences of his brutal anti-illegal drugs campaign when he leaves the presidency after the end of his six-year term because witnesses would come out in the open once the President leaves Malacanang.
‘’There will be a day of reckoning,’’ he said.
Asked if there is evidence to link the President to the summary killings, Trillanes said the 4,000 EJK victims under the Duterte administration ‘’is the body of evidence.’’
During the regular ‘’Kapihan sa Senado’’ press forum, Trillanes said a Senate committee hearing witness. Edgar Matobato, had testified that he was a member of Duterte’s Davao Death Squad that had liquidated about 1,000 persons and that he himself had liquidated about 50 persons.
But Sen. Richard J. Gordon, chairman of the Senate justice and human rights committee that heard the testimony of Matobato on the DDS incidents, said he does not believe Motabato was telling the truth because he is a ‘’damaged witness.’’
Contrary to the belief of US Sen. Benjamin Cardin that those killed in the Duterte illegal drug campaign as EJK victims, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson, chairman of the Senate public order and dangerous drugs committee, said there is no evidence showing that the killings were state-sanctioned.
Like Gordon, Lacson had said Motabato’s testimony was not believable.
Cardin’s staff were quoted as saying that the senator would block the sale of US-made 26,000 assault rifles to the PNP because of human rights violations by the Duterte government.
Trillanes labeled the forthcoming Cordon committee report on the EJK issue as ‘’whitewash’’ to cover up the bloody anti-illegal drug campaign of the Duterte regime.
He said he would write a contrary opinion.
Trillanes said the Gordon committee can submit its report for floor debate without submitting a copy to him for signature once a majority vote has been obtained.
Sen. Leila de Lima was also expected to write a dissenting report.
She was ousted as chairwoman of the Senate justice and human rights committee for being allegedly biased in her committee hearings on the EJK issue on motion of Sen. Emmanuel Pacquiao.