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Ethics complaint filed vs Trillanes for attacking Duterte, justices

ETHICS COMPLAINT. Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, one of the critics of President Rodrigo Duterte, faces a complaint before the Senate ethics committee.

ETHICS COMPLAINT. Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, one of the critics of President Rodrigo Duterte, faces a complaint before the Senate ethics committee.

MANILA, Philippines – An ethics complaint was filed against opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, said the chairman of the Senate committee on ethics and privileges on Tuesday, February 28.

Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III said Abelardo de Jesus, a lawyer, filed the complaint against Trillanes on Monday, February 27.

De Jesus also filed the first ethics complaint against Senator Leila de Lima, another critic of the President.

Sotto said the complaint is based on two reasons – the Court of Appeals' indirect contempt of Trillanes following his bribery allegations against two CA associate justices, and the senator's public declaration that President Rodrigo Duterte is a "murderer."

"Unethical for a member of the Senate na 'pag nagbibintang ka, kailangan magpakita ka ng ebidensya – parang ganoon ang sinasabi ng complaint ni Atty De Jesus (The complaint of Atty De Jesus says that it is unethical for a member of the Senate to accuse anyone without evidence), Sotto told reporters on Tuesday.

Sotto said he has yet to read the entire complaint. He added that he would not yet distribute copies among the committee members, due to the recent Senate reorganization. (READ: Senate ousts Drilon, LP senators from key posts)

"Kasi baka magbago membership ko eh, depende pa kung sino ihahalal na minority leader and then the balance of how many majority and minority members must be there," he added.

(Because the committee membership might still change, depending on who will be elected minority leader and then the balance of how many majority and minority members must be there.)

Sotto talked to reporters before Senator Franklin Drilon was elected Senate Minority Leader.

Trillanes was unaware that a complaint was lodged against him but he said he remains unfazed despite threats to pin him down, and vowed to continue criticizing the Duterte administration.

"Sige lang, sige lang. Gawin na nila lahat. Kumbaga, bring it on. Game ako diyan. Handa ako diyan. Hindi ako matitinig diyan. I've been through a lot in my life kaya hindi ako basta-basta natitinag sa mga ganyan," Trillanes said.

(Just go on, just go on. They can do everything they want. Bring it on. I'm game. I'm prepared for that. I've been through a lot in my life so I will not be easily affected by those things.) – Rappler.com

Camille Elemia

Camille Elemia is Rappler's lead reporter for media, disinformation, and democracy. She won an ILO award in 2017. She received the prestigious Fulbright-Hubert Humphrey fellowship in 2019, allowing her to further study media and politics in the US. Email camille.elemia@rappler.com

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