Who’s the murderer? Who’s the coddler?

The ‘perya barker”act, in the words of Sen. Grace Poe, of Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre at the government-organized Luneta rally last Saturday triggered responses from different personalities which make for amusing exchanges.

Afternoon of Feb. 25 at Luneta , Aguirre, feeling triumphant with the arrest and incarceration of Sen. Leila de Lima on illegal drug charges, he agitated the crowd , "Sino ang gusto n'yo isunod? (Who do you want next?)"

The crowd shouted back, "Trillanes! "Trillanes!"

Buoyed by the mob’s response, Duterte’s justice secretary asked for their help: "Oh tulungan ninyo ako ha. (You have to help me)"

Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV and Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II

Such scene we usually witness during Holy week prior to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ in the re-enactment of the Lord’s agony. Pontious Pilate asked the crowd, “Whom do you want me to release for you: Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?”

The crowd shouted, “Barabbas!”

And thus, Barabbas, the thief, was freed and Jesus Christ was crucified.

This is not to say that Trillanes is Jesus Christ. But he is the only one who has been consistent in his opposition to Duterte even before the former Davao mayor got to Malacañang .

He has supported his accusations against Duterte with documents (records of Duterte’s bank account which has been a recipient of more than P2 billion deposits) and testimonies of the latter’s involvement in the Davao Death Squad.

Aguirre’s Luneta spiel elicited criticisms from Trillanes’ colleagues, the strongest of which came from Poe.

“This is a gentle reminder to the Justice Secretary: You are expected to administer justice fairly and not to moonlight as a perya barker who agitates the crowds.That high office entails prudent decision-making which is not served by tasteless stunts that incite the mob,” she said.

Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV and Solicitor General Jose Calida

Aguirre got support from Solicitor General Jose Calida who said he is planning to file charges against Trillanes for allegedly coddling self-confessed members of the Davao Death Squad, retired policeman Arturo Lascañas and Edgar Matobato.

"That person (Lascañas) confessed to have killed his two brothers. Even this Matobato, why is he coddling, hiding and providing security for this confessed criminal? Is this the job of the senator?" Calida said.

But he said, not soon because he needs time to think what charges to file. "Give me more time and I will have the proper case to be filed against him," he said.

This should be fun because Malacanang denied the existence of the Davao Death Squad. If DDS never existed, how can Lascañas and Matobato be criminals?

Trillanes turned the table on Calida: “Ang murderer ay yung boss nya kaya sya ang coddler (His boss is a murderer so he’s the coddler).

Trillanes, who had spent seven years in detention for leading an attempted coup d’etat against President Gloria Arroyo is undaunted by the threat of Calida.

“They can threaten me all they want but I will continue to fulfill my mandate to expose the truth about President Duterte and stand up against the blatant misuse and abuse of power by his administration,” he said.

He even dared the solicitor general: “ So, Mr. Calida, shut up and just do it.”

Malacañang reportedly asked Sen. Cythia Villar, wife of Nationalista Party head Manny Villar to talk to Trillanes (who is a party member) about his hounding of Duterte.

Villar’s reply is classic common sense: "Eh yung sarili ko ngang anak di ko mapagsabihan, yung iba pa?(I can’t even reprimand my own children, how can I do it to others?"

Oo nga naman.

FOR FURTHER READING

Not for lack of Duterte’s desire that Trillanes is alive

Cielito "Honeylet" Salvador Avanceña has weighed in on the more serious issues of her partner’s…

Malacañang shaken by Lascañas exposé

However Malacanang tries to discredit SPO3 Arturo Lascañas explosive exposé about President…

VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Should credit go to Calida for winning the West Philippine Sea case?

In giving a rundown of the Office of the Solicitor General’s accomplishments since he went on board…

About Vera Files

Founded in March 2008, VERA Files is published by veteran Filipino journalists taking a deeper look into current Philippine issues. Vera is Latin for “true.”

Contact Us

Email us at newsroom@verafiles.org