SEN. Antonio Trillanes IV ends his third term as senator this month. He was barred from running for another term in the recent elections but unlike other politicians who seemingly could not let go of politics, Trillanes chose not to run for other positions, which means that he would be back to the private milieu next month. He could no longer hide under the political blanket that made him different from us ordinary mortals.
Trillanes, aa senator, positioned himself as one of President Rodrigo Duterte’s bitter critics. While other critics, like Sen. Leila de Lima, already earned the Duterte camp’s “resbak,” Trillanes may still get that fully once he returns to private life. De Lima is currently in jail on what looks like trumped up drug charges after taking the lead in the probe on the extra-judicial killings that were rampant early in President Duterte’s term.
Trillanes is already facing cases in court for allegations he hurled against the President and his relatives during the waning years of his term. He is recently accused of being behind “Bikoy,” whose video posts on YouTube linked the President’s son and son-in-law and even his long-time aide and now senator-elect Christopher “Bong” Go to the illegal drugs trade. He already denied it but who knows what those “Bikoy” “victims” would do once Trillanes is no longer senator.
Interestingly, before Trillanes focused on Duterte, he also hurled allegations against former vice president Jejomar Binay. The recent report emanating from the Senate is that of Sen. Nancy Binay offering Trillanes a teaching position in the school in her base Makati City. That’s one example of the admonition of letting bygones be bygones. Trillanes considered the offer as sincere although he may have other options than just teaching.
President Duterte and his relatives may eventually file cases against Trillanes and the latter may end up in jail like de Lima. He has said he is ready to face those cases and to go to jail, if ever. While his future may be bleak considering that Duterte will still be president in the next three years, he can wallow in the thinking that history and time are a bit on his side. We know how the criminal justice system in the country rolls. Big name personalities do not remain in jail for long.
Consider those who were jailed for plunder in relation to the pork barrel scam. Where are, for example, Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. and Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada now? Revilla even got reelected in the recent polls. Even those who languished in ignominy for years, like the Marcoses, have recovered a bit through time. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. almost became vice president while Imee Marcos is now in the Senate.
Trillanes may end up in jail like de Lima but who knows what will happen when the President’s term ends three years from now? I think changes in the political landscape are among the reasons why politicians who end up in jail or are down for a certain period of time eventually get a reprieve through time. Trillanes and even de Lima can take refuge in that thought.