By Vanne Elaine Terrazola
Senator Antonio Trillanes IV on Wednesday challenged President Rodrigo Duterte to prove his claim that his ailing mother had been involved in anomalous dealings with the Philippine Navy.
In a statement, the opposition lawmaker and staunch Duterte critic responded to a claim made by Chief Executive that he will initiate an investigation, and subpoena his 84-year-old mother for allegedly being involved in transactions with the Navy.
“Since September last year, Duterte has been saying that he asked different agencies to investigate the supposed anomalous transactions of my mother. But up to now, he has yet to show even a shred of evidence to prove his baseless allegations,” Trillanes said.
“Now, Duterte is threatening to subpoena my mother,” he added.
Trillanes told Duterte to continue with his plan, which he assured will end to no avail.
The former Navy lieutenant said the Chief Executive was “picking on” his mother because the latter “could not” handle him.
“Just do it and let it be another humiliating episode for you like the fake offshore bank accounts you alleged against me,” he challenged the President.
“Sige lang (Go on), do your worst while I count the days,” he added, alluding to the last three years of Duterte’s presidency.
In September, during his televised tete-à-tete with presidential legal adviser and spokesperson Salvador Panelo at the Palace, Duterte floated that Trillanes’ parents had “transactions” and “businesses” with the Philippine Navy. He did not expound on this.
Trillanes, on the other hand, cried foul on President Duterte’s mention of his parents, which was made during the controversial revocation of his amnesty.
“My father died in 1998. And my mother is 84 years old…she has an advanced stage of Parkinson’s disease. So I cannot think of a reason why Mr. Duterte would drag my parents in our fight,” he said as he showed a photo of his ailing mother during a press briefing last year.
“You stick with me Mr. Duterte. Dahil wala ka nang maibato sa akin, ida-drag mo pa sila dito (Because you cannot throw anything against me, you will drag them into this),” he had told the President.
Duterte, in November, then revealed that his men were already investigating the supposed transactions of his fiercest critic’s mother with the Philippine Navy.