• Answer complaint, ethics panel orders Trillanes

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    THE Senate Ethics Committee has asked Sen. Antonio Trillanes 4th to answer in 10 working days the complaint filed against him by Sen. Richard Gordon for “unparliamentary acts” and disorderly behavior.

    The ethics panel, chaired by Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto 3rd, on Monday held its first meeting to tackle the complaints filed against Trillanes, detained Sen. Leila de Lima, and Sotto himself. Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon and Senators Panfilo Lacson, Gregorio Honasan 2nd, Paolo Benigno Aquino and Risa Hontiveros attended.

    FAKED? Sen. Antonio Trillanes 4th shows evidence his alleged offshore bank accounts were nonexistent. PHOTO BY RENE H. DILAN

    The committee ruled that Gordon’s complaint against Trillanes has “form and substance.”

    Gordon said that Trillanes disrespected and maligned the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee during its hearing on the shabu smuggling on Aug. 31 when he branded it a “comite de absuelto” (committee of exoneration).

    He also denounced Trillanes’ “pattern of unbecoming conduct and insulting language against persons and public institutions,” enumerating the latter’s alleged misdemeanors such as calling fellow senators cowards, insulting former Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano and turning off his mike, and quarreling with Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri among others.

    Gordon had earlier said that Trillanes should be expelled from the chamber.

    Informed of the ethics panel’s action, Trillanes said he will submit himself to the investigation process.

    “I respect the decision of the ethics committee. I will submit to the process. I will face it wholeheartedly because I am confident I did not do anything unparliamentary,” he said., adding that he is willing to face Gordon in an open public ethics hearing.

    The ethics panel deferred deliberation on de Lima’s case to study first whether it can ask the court to allow her to attend hearings at the Senate. Rep. Reynaldo Umali filed in December 2016 a complaint against de Lima for allegedly preventing her former driver-lover Ronnie Dayan from attending the House investigation into the proliferation of illegal drugs at the New Bilibid Prison.

    Lacson, the vice chairman, took over when the panel discussed the case filed against Sotto by a women’s group over his demeaning “na ano lang” remark to then social work secretary-designate Judy Taguiwalo during her confirmation hearing at the Commission on Appointments (CA).

    The complaint against Sotto was dismissed.

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