Presidential son Paolo Duterte is mulling on filing another criminal and civil libel cases against Senator Antonio Trillanes IV for implicating him in the PHP6.4-billion shabu shipment smuggling issue at the Bureau of Customs (BOC).
In a press statement released to the media on Thursday, Paolo said he will press charges against the senator for viciously destroying his name, maligning his reputation and integrity, and for deliberately manufacturing lies and spreading black propaganda against him.
“Senator Trillanes manufactured lies and deliberately spread these lies with the obvious intention of destroying my name and maligning my reputation, with a view to impacting negatively against our beloved President,” Paolo said.
This will be the second time that the former vice mayor has filed charges against Trillanes for the same issue.
In December last year, Paolo and his brother-in-law, lawyer Manases Carpio, filed a civil case against Trillanes for involving them into the smuggling issue. The two filed the case at the Office of the Clerk of Court on December 27 and was raffled to Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 15 under the sala of Judge Mario Duaves.
Duterte and Carpio were dragged into the alleged smuggling and corruption at the BOC, and attended the hearing of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee on September 7, 2017 – during which, they strongly denied any wrongdoing.
The PHP6.4-billion shabu shipment from China, which slipped through the BOC, was later seized in Valenzuela City.
Paolo said Trillanes was “apparently emboldened by his false reliance on, and abuse, of his parliamentary immunity”.
He added: “But this immunity does not apply to libelous remarks made during media interviews, clearly as these attacks were done outside the halls of the Senate — and definitely not when these were discharged with the pure intention of destroying me.”
Sought for her reaction, Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said it would have been better if her brother opted not to go to court.
“Dili na lang ng file. Rambol a lang diretso (It’s better not to file. Just fight straight),” she said in jest in an interview Thursday.
Mayor Sara said her brother did not seek his advice but she was told only of Paolo’s intention to file a case.
The mayor herself on Wednesday traded barbs with Trillanes over the latter’s statement that President Rodrigo Duterte is pushing her to run for president in 2022 so that President Duterte could remain in power.
The mayor admitted having posted her statement on social media because that is what Trillanes wanted – to elicit her reaction and for Trillanes to be in the media again at her expense and of the President’s.
Duterte-Carpio said she just found out that Trillanes is eyeing for a congressional seat under the party-list Magdalo.
“Every time he (Trillanes) opens his mouth he is paid,” she told reporters, adding that the senator likely opted not to react to her social media post because he was no longer paid for it. (Lilian C. Mellejor/PNA)