The camp of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, who was accused of mounting a black propaganda against presumptive President Rodrigo Duterte, left the country for Hawaii Tuesday afternoon, but his aides said the trip had nothing to do with the election.
Immigration officials at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2 confirmed that Trillanes was wearing a dark blue shirt with large two suitcases when he left the country via Philippine Airlines flight PR100 for Honolulu, Hawaii at 5:30 p.m. of May 17.
But Trillanes aides said the senator left on an official trip which was approved by Senate President Franklin Drilon.
In a separate phone interview, Drilon’s chief of staff lawyer Rey Bantug said Trillanes asked permission to travel, but he could not give the details since the request was made before the election.
“We are just waiting for a copy of the travel authority from the [Senate President] to prove that his leaving the country was official,” said Trillanes’ media relations officer Adette Romero.
Romero also dispelled rumors that the senator escaped to avoid the ire of Duterte who would assume the presidency on June 30.
Towards the end of the campaign period, Trillanes accused the Davao mayor of failing to declare P211 milllion in bank deposits at BPI Julia Vargas branch in Pasig in his SALN for 2014. He also charged that Duterte has P2.4-billion unexplained wealth in at least four banks.
Duterte strongly denied the charges and engaged Trillanes in a “word war.” Trillanes even said he would withdraw from the vice presidential race and quit as senator if it can be proven that his accusations against Duterte were untrue.
The Immigration bureau at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2 confirmed Trillanes left the country in the afternoon of May 17, 2016 (Tuesday).