Duterte claims Trillanes wanted to be his VP

Pia Ranada

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Duterte claims Trillanes wanted to be his VP
If Senator Trillanes won as vice president, President Rodrigo Duterte jokes he (Duterte) would have been assassinated like Ninoy Aquino

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte made sure to remind the public in a television interview that Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, one of his fiercest critics, once wanted to be his running mate in the 2016 elections.

Speaking to Erwin Tulfo in an interview aired on state-run PTV on Friday, September 15, Duterte showed a photo on his iPhone of him with Trillanes.

In that meeting, Trillanes supposedly asked to be his vice president if he decides to run for president.

“Ito ‘yung (This is the) picture, the only picture that I have with him. Kinausap niya ako na gusto niyang mag bise presidente sa akin. Sabi ko, ‘Ayaw ko,'” said Duterte.

(He spoke with me, he said he wants to be my vice president. I said, ‘I don’t want.’) 

The President said he also told Trillanes that he has no plans of seeking the presidency.

But secretly, he supposedly wanted to tell the senator something else.

Pero hindi ko lang masabi na, ‘Ikaw klaseng tao, maging bise ko?’” said Duterte. (But I just couldn’t say, ‘A person like you as my vice president?’)

 In Duterte’s mind, Trillanes is out to damage his reputation because he took his rejection that night at a hotel room personally.

Salbahe talaga ‘to. He takes it personal, kasi bilib masyado sa sarili (He has an attitude. He takes it personal because he believes too much in  himself.),” said Duterte.

He also called the opposition senator “wily,” “ambitious,” and “dangerous” and warned Filipinos not to trust him.

If Trillanes won as vice president, Duterte joked he would have likely been assassinated, just like Ninoy Aquino.

Alam mo, pagkatapos ng inauguration ko, hindi pa ako nakababa diyan [garbled] may putok na ng baril. Pareho kami ni Aquino. Mahulog na ako,” he said.

(You know, after my inauguration, even before I get down, there’d be a shot from a gun. I’d be like Aquino. I’d fall.)

Duterte has devoted sizable chunks of his speeches fending off Trillanes’ accusations of hidden wealth and involvement of his son Paolo Duterte and son-in-law Manases Carpio in smuggling.

He has refused Trillanes’ challenge that he sign a bank secrecy waiver to prove he has been truthful about his wealth. – Rappler.com

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Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is Rappler’s Community Lead, in charge of linking our journalism with communities for impact.