Trillanes walkout on Enrile-A A +A
Thursday, September 20, 2012
WHAT prompted Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV to walk out of a Senate session Thursday while Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile interpellated him?
Was it when Enrile called him a “Phantom of the Opera,” the disfigured genius in the 1986 Webber musical? The phantom, working in the shadows, transformed Christine, his “angel of the night,” into an opera star.
Trillanes worked in back channels to ease tension between Manila and Beijing over a disputed shoal. He kept Enrile and the other senators in the dark about his non-legislative mission.
Or did the walkout come after Enrile called him a “fifth columnist,” a secret sympathizer or supporter of a foreign enemy, spying or engaging in sabotage within the country?
Trillanes could’ve been a “phantom” as he didn’t report to his Senate president. He made several trips to China without Enrile’s knowledge or approval. But it was supposed to be covert, wasn’t it?
“Treason” is inaccurate and harsh. The country’s not at war with China and President Aquino approved the secret talks. If it was “un-Filipino,” PNoy authorized it.
In the speech preceding their face-off, Trillanes had called Enrile a lackey of former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and a bully on a bill creating a new province in Camarines Sur.
When knighthood flourished, the name-calling would’ve set off a duel, or, in an ala-Taiwan legislative setting, sparked a brawl.
Instead, Trillanes walked out: the old reliable expression of protest when tempers run high, harsh words fail, and one can’t pull a Glock.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 21, 2012.