Sen. Richard Gordon wants Sen. Antonio Trillanes 4th expelled from the Senate because of his alleged unparliamentary conduct that damaged the reputation of the chamber.
Gordon, chairman of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, on Saturday said the Senate Committee on Ethics should kick out Trillanes.
Gordon earlier filed an ethics complaint against the former navy officer over his alleged “repeated display of unparliamentary conduct and disorderly behavior.”
He filed the case last Monday after Trillanes described the blue ribbon panel as a “comite de absuelto” (clearing committee) during the continuation of the Senate investigation of the smuggling of P6.4 billion shabu from China.
Gordon said Trillanes “can be expelled, suspended or censured.”
“Ang sa akin (dapat) expelled because hindi lang isang beses e. At saka may namatay na (As far as I’m concerned, he must be expelled because it was not the first time. And someone died),” he said in a radio interview.
“Dahil sa kanyang pam-bubully nagpakamatay si kwan (late Defense secretary Angelo Reyes) e rightly or wrongly. O kaya na stroke si (former) Ambassador (to China Sonia) Brady. Seryoso ‘yan ‘wag natin sabihin na sinisisi ko lang dahil dun (Because of his bullying, former Defense secretary Angelo committed suicide.
Ambassador Brady had a stroke. That’s serious, but don’t say I’m blaming him for that),” Gordon said.
Brady suffered a stroke in August 2012, days after a meeting with Chinese officials and Trillanes, who was appointed by former President Benigno Aquino 3rd as backroom negotiator in seeking a solution to the standoff between Philippine and Chinese vessels at Panatag Shoal.
During the Senate investigation in 2011 on the alleged anomaly in the handling of military funds, Trillanes told Reyes that he “had no reputation to protect.” Reyes in February 2011 committed suicide in front of his mother’s grave in Loyola Memorial Park in Marikina City.
The ethics panel will hold its first hearing on the case against Trillanes on Monday.
The Senate, as well as the House of Representatives, is authorized by the Constitution to “punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds of all its members, suspend or expel a member.”
Gordon said the authority to discipline a fellow lawmaker “is granted by the Constitution not merely to punish an individual member, but to protect the institutional integrity of the Senate, its proceedings, and its reputation.”
Since 1924, at least five members of Congress have been sanctioned, namely: Sen. Jose Alejandrino, 1924; Senate President Jose Avelino, 1949; Congressman Sergio Osmena, Jr., 1960; Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile, 1988; and Sen. Heherson Alvarez, 1996.
“The continuing, schematic and incorrigible abrasive conduct of Sen. Trillanes should be dealt with accordingly, maybe censure is not even enough,” Gordon said.
Trillanes accused Gordon of protecting Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte and his brother-in-law, Manases Carpio from the smuggling scandal. It was Trillanes who urged the Senate panel to invite Carpio and Duterte to attend the hearing after they were linked to the Davao Group that allegedly received millions of pesos in exchange for the speedy release of shipments at the Bureau of Customs.
Customs broker Mark Taguba claimed in his Senate testimony that Duterte and Carpio’s names were mentioned by Tita Nanie, the alleged operator of the Davao Group.
During the Senate hearing on Thursday, Trillanes implied that Paolo Duterte was a member of a triad because of a tattoo on his back. The Davao vice mayor admitted having a tattoo on his back but refused to show it.
On Saturday, President Rodrigo Duterte vowed to uncover Trillanes’ bank deposits.
“I’m coming up with Trillanes’ bank deposits all over. Ngayon nakuha ko na, akala kasi niya hindi ko rin kaya e [I already got them, he thinks I cannot do it]. So I am giving in a few days the number of deposits that he has with…Chinese joint accounts. It’s all over, Hong Kong, Australia, America,” Duterte said during the 26th Mindanao Business Conference in Cagayan de Oro City.
Trillanes had earlier claimed that Duterte has about P2 billion in bank deposits.
The senator challenged the President to release his bank documents, saying he will resign if proven wrong.
With Reina Tolentino