Trillanes: Duterte invitation for Robredo a 'trap'
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Antonio Trillanes IV called President Rodrigo Duterte's dinner invitation for Vice President Leni Robredo a "trap", adding that "only the naive would be fooled."
In a statement on Sunday, March 26, Trillanes claimed the President is again employing a "tactic" he already used in the past.
"It is a trap to disarm and politically neutralize her at this time that Duterte is facing the biggest political storm yet of his term as president. Let me remind everyone that it is the same tactic Duterte used early on during his term wherein he belatedly offered a Cabinet post to her then made fun of her through his misogynistic remarks about her legs and knees. VP Leni wasn't even given the latitude to appoint her own people within her department," said Trillanes, one of Duterte's fiercest critics.
"Then when it was politically convenient, Duterte unceremoniously kicked her out of the Cabinet. Now, he's at it again," the senator added. (READ: How did Duterte break with Robredo? Through text message)
Malacañang had confirmed on Saturday, March 25, that Duterte invited Robredo and her family to dinner.
But the Palace did not say when and where the dinner would take place, as other officials "are not privy to details."
Duterte extended the invitation to Robredo in a chat during the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) graduation rites last Friday, March 24.
But the day before that, on Thursday, March 23, Duterte accused Robredo of being one of the possible masterminds of a supposed ouster plot against him, along with Trillanes and detained Senator Leila de Lima. Robredo has repeatedly denied involvement in such a plot, saying that while she criticizes some of Duterte's policies, she is not after the presidency.
While claiming Robredo could be plotting his ouster, Duterte has said she should not be impeached.
Two Marcos loyalists – Oliver Lozano and Melchor Chavez – earlier drafted an impeachment complaint against Robredo, which they are asking Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez to endorse. Alvarez himself has lashed out against Robredo, calling her "shameless" for criticizing the Duterte administration's bloody drug war.
A group of Duterte supporters, who dubbed themselves the "Impeach VP Leni Team", are also preparing an impeachment complaint against Robredo.
The complaint cites the President's alleged involvement in the creation of the Davao Death Squad when he was mayor; his war on drugs, which has led to the alleged summary killing of thousands of Filipinos; and his supposed unexplained wealth. (READ: Highlights: Impeachment complaint vs Duterte)
Trillanes on Sunday said Duterte should be held accountable "for the crimes he has committed."
"Mr Duterte, you have to answer for your crimes because you are not above the law," the senator said. – Rappler.com