SEN. Richard Gordon claimed that “more than 14” colleagues in the upper house have expressed support for his plan to file an ethics complaint against Sen. Antonio Trillanes 4th.
Gordon, chairman of the blue ribbon committee, said he would be filing the complaint for alleged “unparliamentary conduct” against Trillanes on Friday.
“I don’t need signatories. I had the support of more than 10, more than 12, more than 14 (senators),” Gordon said when asked how many signatures he had secured for his ethics case.
When asked for more details, Gordon snapped at reporters: “You know, I already asked for your respect. I said I don’t want to be interviewed alright? I don’t go to the media like him. I don’t do that. You know that. From the very beginning I went to the Senate I never give a presscon. It’s always an ambush (interview). And right now the way things are going I was maligned by this guy with rules going out to the window.”
Sen. Vicente Sotto 3rd, chairman of the committee on ethics, said that he would furnish copies of Gordon’s complaint to the panel members composed of Senators Panfilo Lacson, Gregorio Honasan, Grace Poe, Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao, Risa Hontiveros, and Trillanes.
“It would be [a]normal course of action, the normal procedure. Then I will write a letter to Sen. Trillanes to answer the allegations or the complaint,” Sotto said.
The ethics panel tackles “all matters relating to the conduct, rights, privileges, safety, dignity, integrity, and reputation of the Senate and its members. A senator may be reprimanded, suspended, or expelled by 2/3 majority vote of the entire Senate.
Pressed to comment on Gordon’s claim that he got the support of more than 14 senators, Sotto said, “Siya nagsabi. Siya na i-quote n’yo. Nasa executive session pinag-usapan ‘yan, I would probably say na it’s quite accurate eh, ‘yung sinabi n’ya (He was the one who said that. You better quote him on that. We discussed that in an executive session. I would probably say that what he said was quite accurate).”
The Senate majority bloc has 17 members. It is composed of Senate President Aquilino Pimentel 3rd, Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto, Senate Majority Leader Sotto, and Senators Juan Edgardo Angara, Nancy Binay, Joseph Victor Ejercito, Francis Escudero, Sherwin Gatchalian, Honasan, Lacson, Loren Legarda, Pacquiao, Poe, Joel Villanueva, Cynthia Villar, Juan Miguel Zubiri, and Gordon.
The opposition bloc has six members composed of Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon and Senators Francis Pangilinan, Paolo Benigno Aquino 4th, Hontiveros, Leila de Lima, and Trillanes.
The rift between Gordon and Trillanes stemmed from the argument between the two senators in last week’s inquiry on corruption at the Bureau of Customs (BOC).
Trillanes pressed Gordon, chairman of the blue ribbon committee, to summon Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte and brother-in-law Manases Carpio to shed light on their alleged involvement in facilitating the entry of illegal shipments at the BOC.
Gordon’s hesitation to invite President Rodrigo Duterte’s son and son-in-law prompted Trillanes to accuse the committee of being a “komite de abswelto” (clearing committee).
“I will not be going to stoop down to his level. It’s going to be filed,” Gordon said in an interview on Monday after attending the caucus of the majority bloc.