MALACAÑANG downplayed Friday the challenge of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV on President Rodrigo Duterte to sue him for libel over claim that the President has ill-gotten wealth worth P2 billion.
Speaking to reporters, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella dismissed the senator's latest call on the President as mere "noise."
"As part of the whole situation, I'm saying that all this noise seems to be towards a particular situation. In other words, we don't need to react on that, do we?" Abella said.
"So all these eventualities seem to be connected to each other. Just let the noise. As we see, it appears that they also have agenda," he added.
Abella's statement came after Trillanes dared Duterte to file a libel complaint against him, if there is no truth on his claim that the Chief Executive has P2 billion in his bank accounts.
Trillanes, a vocal critic of Duterte, renewed the challenge after the President hit a particular news publishing company over "unfair" report regarding his supposed hidden wealth.
On Thursday, Duterte called out ABS-CBN for its alleged partial report on money allegedly deposited in his bank accounts, as claimed by Trillanes
The senator told the President, "Mr. President, if the media reports based on my allegations weren't true, then why didn't you just sue me for libel?"
Abella said the move of Trillanes seems to be "orchestrated," in a sense that he made the remark after his ally, Magdalo Representative Gary Alejano, filed a supplemental impeachment complaint against Duterte.
Quizzed if Duterte has any plans of filing libel case against the senator, the presidential spokesperson said: "It all depends on the President. Nothing has discussed about that." (SunStar Philippines)