OPPOSITION Senator Antonio Trillanes IV said Friday he did not dissuade US President Donald Trump from visiting the Philippines but merely presented “factual information” on the country to senior American officials during his recent trip to the United States.
The White House earlier confirmed that Trump will arrive in Manila on Nov. 12 to attend the special gala celebration dinner for the 50th anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. He is also set to attend the US-Asean Summit on Nov. 13.
“To be clear, I did not try to stop the state visit of President Trump since these things are carefully planned and cannot be stopped on the mere say-so of a Philippine senator,” Trillanes said in a statement.
Asked to comment on the reports Trillanes had visited the US to convince lawmakers to discourage Trump from visiting the Philippines, Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III replied:
“Please direct questions to Senator Trillanes since I am abroad trying my best to develop enhance and strengthen PH relations with various countries.”
Trillanes said he met with US officials, including Republican Senator Marco Rubio, to talk about improving Philippine-US relations and how to address the issues of corruption and human-rights situation in the Philippines.
“Unlike the officials of the Duterte administration, I presented only factual information,” Trillanes said.
“Besides, you cannot fool the US government; they know what’s happening in our country.”
Trillanes had asked the Office of the Ombudsman to investigate Duterte over the allegations he had billions of pesos in undeclared wealth.