The Palace on Saturday bid farewell to outspoken outgoing Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, a staunch critic of President Rodrigo Duterte, and wished him luck as the former military officer faces the possibility of being jailed when his immunity from arrest expires along with his term in June.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo issued the statement after supposed “Ang Totoong Narcolist” video fabricator Peter Joemel Advincula, alias “Bikoy,” retracted his previous statements and pointed to Trillanes and the Liberal Party as behind the videos linking the President and the Duterte family to the illegal drug trade.
“Trillanes should brace himself with the prospect of being jailed anew for alleged attempts to topple the Duterte administration,” Panelo said.
"While many will wish Mr. Trillanes good riddance as he is about to leave the hallowed halls of the Senate at the end of June of this year, we will instead wish him luck as he faces another prospect of being placed behind bars again as the self-confessed black propagandist [Advincula] turns against his master, even as his victims look forward to seeing the Senate, or better yet the government, without the cantankerously obnoxious coup plotter," Panelo said.
Trillanes has denied Advincula’s claim, saying the allegations were “another ploy of the administration to harass the opposition.”
However, Panelo said: “Trillanes should address Advincula’s accusations, which is a serious allegation pointing to him as the mastermind and in conspiracy with certain political leaders identified with the opposition of the unlawful plot to topple the Duterte administration.”
The spokesman said Duterte “remains standing as the nation’s most beloved and trusted leader” while Trillanes continues to “spew his poisonous invectives” against the President.
“We recall that Mr. Trillanes was all praises for the videos which were intended to incite sedition against the duly-constituted and people-elected President, even arrogantly wishing that he was part of such a felony, and then suddenly after being ratted as the creator of the sinister plot pronounces that he knows nothing about the same,” Panelo said.
He said that before the 2016 elections, Trillanes made an issue about the "fictitious bank account" containing over P200 million supposedly belonging to Duterte.
"He deviously released this black propaganda a week before the presidential elections, almost identical to the time frame of the release of the recent videos of Bikoy before the midterm national elections. The two black propagandas are eerily similar as to the timing of their release," Panelo said.
"History keeps repeating itself. In Mr. Trillanes' case, first as a tragedy and second as a farce. This describes well the case of the outgoing senator," he said.
“Mr. Trillanes’ greater service to the nation is his mandatory exit from the Senate," Panelo added.