Trillanes ready to die fighting Duterte

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Antonio Trillanes IV said he is ready to face the consequences of his resistance against President Rodrigo Duterte, even if he ends up getting killed.

Trillanes also said he is ready to be detained again, citing his imprisonment for 7 years under the Arroyo administration. (READ: Trillanes to Duterte: I will have you jailed)

"Sa akin naman, sige, gawin ninyo kung ano 'yung gusto ninyong gawin. Hindi ako matitinag diyan. Nakulong na ako dati ng 7 taon. Pero kung aabot tayo diyan, ipapatumba nila ako dahil sa paninindigan ko, kasama po 'yan sa mandato ko," Trillanes said in an interview on radio dzBB on Sunday, February 26.

(For me, go ahead, do what you want to do. I will not be fazed. I was already imprisoned for 7 years before. But if we reach that point that they will have me killed because of my principles, that is part of my mandate.)

The senator, one of the fiercest critics of Duterte, said this in response to Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre III’s remarks on Saturday at the pro-Duterte rally at the Quirino Grandstand.

Aguirre asked the crowd who they want to be arrested next after the detention of Senator Leila de Lima over drug charges against her.

"Sabi niyo may gusto kayong isunod? Sino?" asked Aguirre. (You said you want someone to follow. Who?)

In response, the crowd shouted, "Si Trillanes!”

Aguirre then said, "Tulungan niyo ako." (Help me.)

Trillanes has repeatedly said he got information that the President wants him dead. This was corroborated, he said, by former police officer Arturo Lascañas, who retracted his earlier testimony and now pins Duterte as the mastermind of the Davao Death Squad.

The senator said he has already accepted that he would persecuted next after De Lima. The two are the staunchest critics of the President.

"Actually ako 'yung uunahin dapat kasi nga gusto akong ipatumba. Hindi kakasuhan, pero ipapapatay. Sinabihan si Lascañas, after nu'ng pagkapanalo ni Duterte, sinabihan na galit na galit nga raw sa akin," he said.

(Actually, I was their first target because they want me killed. They won't file charges but they would have me killed. Lascañas was told after Duterte' victory that he is really mad at me.)

It was Trillanes who, as early as the 2016 campaign, has accused Duterte of having billions in secret bank accounts. He has repeatedly called the President a “mass murderer. – Rappler.com

Camille Elemia

Camille Elemia is Rappler's lead reporter for media, disinformation issues, 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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