Trillanes: Duterte told me how he did killings
Vice presidential candidate Antonio Trillanes IV on Thursday said presidential aspirant Rodrigo Duterte once told him in a casual conversation how he had shot people in the head while on their knees.
“He told me that he made people get down on their knees and shot them in the head, splattering their brains on the ground,” Senator Trillanes said in an interview on Radyo Inquirer 990AM. (See www.ustream.tv/channel/3065972)
“He told me that story and I was thinking that perhaps if the people involved were soldiers and they were serving in a war …. well, that’s how it is in the military,” the senator said.
“But mafia-style executions about which you tell me casually and you sleep well, people who do that are different—they are sick,” he said.
Trillanes said Duterte, the mayor of Davao City who has captured the lead in voter preference polls for the presidential election on May 9, shared the story with him during a meeting set up by a “common friend” in April last year to explore the possibility of running together.
Duterte had not yet announced his plans to run for President at that time, Trillanes said.
A former military officer, Trillanes said he took Duterte’s word that he would not run for President.
“I was a vice presidential candidate and I was shopping for a principal … so we talked and he told me directly that he wouldn’t run,” he said.
But despite meeting with Duterte, Trillanes said he realized that a partnership with the trash-talking mayor of Davao would not work because of their differences in principles.
“Looking back, I believe he and I will not get along well because Mayor Duterte is closely associated with leftists and communists. So a partnership between us is really unlikely,” he said.
Trillanes earlier said a Duterte presidency would spell disaster for the Philippines.
Duterte, known for his iron-fist style of leadership and tolerance for crime, was heavily criticized for his alleged involvement in extrajudicial killings and links to the so-called Davao Death Squad.
Duterte has denied links to the death squad, but he has said on the campaign trail that he will kill criminals if he is elected President.
His camp Thursday refused to comment on Trillanes’ statements in the radio interview.
“It would be his words against the mayor’s. We are not surprised. We all know that Trillanes is a congenital attention seeker. He will do everything just [to] get the public’s attention,” said Peter Laviña, head of Duterte’s media team.
In a recent interview, Duterte said Trillanes had asked him to make him his vice presidential running mate.
“And if he was that bold, he should have fought it out with government forces during the Oakwood mutiny,” the mayor said, referring to the 2003 junior military officers’ uprising against then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Duterte’s camp dismissed all the criticisms against the mayor as trash.
“There is now more trash being thrown at Duterte than (that found) in sanitary landfills,” Laviña said.
“Such wasteful attacks do not help raise the political maturity of the electorate,” he said.
Laviña said that instead of presenting their platforms to the voters, Duterte’s rivals were engaging in character assassination and smear campaign.
He cited rumors that Duterte had withdrawn from the presidential race.
“This is an outright and pathetic lie,” he said.
Laviña said there was also a supposed National Bureau of Investigation and Presidential Anti-Smuggling Group report linking Duterte to smuggling in Davao City.
If the report were true, he said, charges should have been brought against Duterte a long time ago, and the mayor and his family would have easily cleared their names.
“All these will backfire on the rival camps. This is an affront on the intelligence of the voters,” he said. With a report from Nico Alconaba, Inquirer Mindanao
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