Tuesday , June 19, 2018

Trillanes threatens to file ethics complaint vs Gordon

A DAY after Senator Richard Gordon filed an ethics complaint against him, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV on Tuesday threatened to file a counter-complaint against Gordon over the latter's "unethical acts".

In a privilege speech, Trillanes said he will expose Gordon's alleged anomalies in the Philippine Red Cross but declined to say the details.

Citing some rules of parliamentary procedure that allegedly were broken by Gordon, Trillanes said it is important to note the right of the minority to be heard.

He also lambasted Gordon for twisting facts by saying the phrase "comite de absuelto" comes from him.

"It is on record. Let the record speak for itself," Trillanes said.

He also mentioned how Gordon disregarded the objection of a member and disrespected and insulted a member of the committee.

"Gordon who chairs the Senate blue ribbon committee mentioned 'cockpit of chismis' insinuating that I was just peddling rumors when clearly, the information came from his resource persons," Trillanes said. He further insulted me by saying, 'wag daw ako nagdadaldal nang hindi ko nalalaman."

The soldier-turned-senator said the comite de absuwelto remarks are but a response to Gordon's cockpit of chismis.

"I am not the whining type and could have easily let these things pass so I could focus on the more important issues at hand. But in the spirit of justice and fairness, at the appropriate time, I'd be filing my own ethics case against Senator Gordon for his unparliamentary and unethical acts as senator and chairman of the blue ribbon committee.
I will also expose his corrupt acts as chairman of the Philippine Red
Cross," Trillanes said.

Trillanes wondered why Gordon wants him expelled considering that he was just doing his job as a senator to seek the truth as to who was behind the Davao Group, which Customs broker Mark Taguba II said in his testimony before the Senate blue ribbon committee hearing into the P6.4 billion shabu smuggled from China.

The parties Taguba mentioned -- Tita Nanie and Jack -- allegedly mentioned the names of Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte and lawyer Manases Carpio, which was brought about when Gordon himself asked Taguba to submit the screenshots of the text messages contained in his cellphone.

In an exchange of words over a disagreement whether or not to invite the Presidential kin, Gordon threatened Trillanes with contempt saying he will not allow Trillanes to turn the hearing into a "cockpit of chismis", to which Trillanes retorted that Gordon has transformed the hearing to monologue and into a "comite de abswelto."

Trillanes in a privilege speech wondered why Gordon would seek his expulsion over the exchange.

"Doon sa exchange na yun, i-expel ako, i-suspend ako, i-reprimand ako? That's a food for thought," Trillanes said.

Trillanes maintained that he did not say a single offensive word during the hearing. Gordon had suspended the session and when he did so, Trillanes took the microphone and announced that Gordon had made the blue ribbon committee into a "comite de abswelto."

Gordon immediately returned to his seat to resume the session and denied the "comite de abswelto" tag and threatened to file an ethics case against Trillanes.

Trillanes clarified that it was Gordon when he resumed the session who mentioned the word "comite de abswelto" to which he just confirmed.

Trillanes mentioned several instances in the past that include other senators like former Senator Alan Peter Cayetano calling former
President Benigno Aquino III as abnormal, senators maligning then senator Manny Villar during the 2010 elections, the late former Senator Joker Arroyo calling him mosquito and the late senator Miriam Defensor Santiago calling a former Laguna Congressman "fungus-face" or "imbecile".

"We are all political figures here. We are in the business of influencing or being influenced by public opinion to forge policy or to promote public interest. Our primary weapons are words. The unwritten rule is, if you can give it, then you should be able to take it. And since we are in a democracy, we can be liberal in our use of words to pursue our political message," Trillanes said.

Gordon on Monday night filed an ethics complaint against Trillanes allegedly over his repeated display of unparliamentary conducts and disorderly behavior.

Gordon requested the Senate committee on ethics and privileges to conduct an investigation to the end of penalizing Trillanes accordingly.

"The continuing, schematic and incorrigible abrasive conduct of Senator Trillanes should be dealt with accordingly, maybe censure is not even enough. He is devoid of proper bearing and demeanor and continuously exhibits unbridled immaturity. It is a series of many acts of defamation, slurring the Senate institution, offensive language, disorderly behavior and conduct which disrupt committee hearings that have caused damage to the institution and its members...," he said.

"It has become a litany of transgressions of people and of calling them names. He has used the Senate as a forum, used his agenda against his enemies and to satisfy his megalomaniac desire for his own self...Truly, it is now opportune to arrest this despicable pattern of behavior which is trifling to this institution," Gordon added in the 23-page letter complaint.

Gordon pointed out that all senators are expected to be the embodiment of competence, integrity, and diligence. He added that as members of the Senate, they are also expected to conduct themselves in accordance with accepted standards of behavior, and not exhibit abject ignorance of both the Rules of the Senate and proper decorum.

"Mutual respect is paramount if we are to function well. We can disagree, but we cannot afford to be disagreeable and, worse, show the public that the disagreement is based on puffery and pique. Rather, it must always be based on important matters of State," he explained.

Both the Senate and the House of Representatives was authorized by the Constitution to "punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds of all its members, suspend or expel a member." (SunStar Philippines)