THE militant fishermen’s group Pamalakaya on Friday called for an investigation of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV for his secret visits to China during the Aquino administration, saying these led to China’s takeover of Scarborough Shoal.
“President Duterte should be wary about Trillanes. The US may release him from [his] leash very soon, …ready to attack and sabotage all our initiatives to pursue a peaceful conclusion with China. Trillanes should be held accountable for no less than treason and betrayal of public trust,” Fernando Hicap, Pamalakaya chairman, said in a statement.
Trillanes had made 16 visits to Beijing without the Filipino people being told what was happening, Hicap said.
After his visits, China occupied Scarborough Shoal and prevented Filipino fishermen from entering the shoal.
“Trillanes’ secret backdoor discussions with China are something that have to be probed. We had lost control of the Scarborough Shoal after those visits, which put the livelihood and security of our Filipino fishers are stake,” Hicap said.
“Trillanes is a known United States rabid attack dog who is unresolved on President Rodrigo Duterte’s pronouncements to gradually separate our country from US control while exploring new diplomatic relations with China and Russia,” Hicap said.
Since Oct. 25, Filipino fishermen are now able to return to Scarborough Shoal as a result of Duterte’s informal negotiations with Chinese leaders during his state visit to China on Oct.18 to 21.
Trillanes on Friday drew flak from his colleagues, some of whom he said were acting as Duterte apologists and tantamount to intellectual dishonesty.
On his Twitter account, Senator Panfilo Lacson said: “Why should we, his colleagues, be also mad at the President he disagrees with, and in not doing be deemed worthless as well? What’s that?”
Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III said Trillanes’ remark was uncalled for.
Senator Joseph Victor Ejercito said senators should learn to respect their colleagues as part of parliamentary courtesy.
“We all were given our respective mandates and therefore we are accountable to the people. It will be absurd to call senators apologists,” he added.
Senator Gregorio Honasan III cited a tradition in the chamber not to comment on their colleagues’ actions and motives “because we are a collegial and consensual body.”
“We are a democracy where opinions and comments are welcome, as we all engage in the free market of vision, ideas and leadership,” Honasan said.
“We also have a tradition in the Senate that we never comment on our colleagues’ actions and motives because we are a collegial and consensual body,” he further stated.
In Thursday’s forum, Trillanes said he was disappointed by his colleagues who turn a blind eye to misdeeds under the Duterte administration.
“They are the enablers of these evil deeds. During the Japanese Occupation and World War II, they were called collaborators,” he said.