Trillanes may face another ethics complaint

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SEN. Antonio Trillanes 4th may face a second ethics complaint for issuing disrespectful and unparliamentary statements against the Senate.

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Senator Joseph Victor Ejercito said, “Maybe it is high time that we refer to the Senate ethics committee Sen. Trillanes’ actions since he is becoming damaging to the institution, and becoming destructive to the country.”

Trillanes, during a news forum on Monday, criticized the members of the Senate for being “lapdogs” of President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration and for being so afraid to investigate its abuses.

Ejercito said Trillanes should be reminded that as a democratic institution, senators debate on issues instead of hurling insults.

He noted that there are 23 independent minds duly elected in the Senate and even when they disagree on a number of issues, senators maintain their respect for one another.

“I hope Sen. Trillanes would do the same. I hope he will stop destroying this institution simply because he is rabidly against this administration,” he added.

Trillanes said he would welcome any ethics complaint against him but insisted that there is really something wrong with the Senate.

“If Sen. Ejercito believes that my statement that the Senate is becoming a lapdog of the Duterte administration is highly offensive yet sees nothing wrong with Duterte’s rape comments to the soldiers, then we really have a problem,” he added.

Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto 3rd, chairman of the Senate ethics committee, meanwhile, said he will entertain any complaint that would be filed against any member of the chamber.

While his committee could act on Trillanes’ issue on its own, Sotto said, it would be better if a complaint will be filed on the matter.

“Motu propio is possible but it’s better if I receive a complaint,” the Senate majority leader said.

An ethics complaint had been filed against Trillanes by lawyer Abelardo de Jesus last February in connection with his allegation two years ago that two justices of the Court of Appeals received P25 million each to stop the suspension order against then Makati City Mayor Erwin Binay.

De Jesus was also behind the ethics complaint filed against Sen. Leila de Lima who is currently detained at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Crame Crame on drug related charges.

The complaint claimed De Lima “miserably” failed to uphold the attributes of a public officer as justice secretary and as senator of the country and it is tantamount to a betrayal of public trust.

He based his complaint on the speech of the President during the 115th Police Service Anniversary in Camp Crame last year wherein de Lima was accused of “collecting money through her driver” from narco-inmates at the National Penitentiary to finance her Senate electoral campaign.

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