Pulong’s ‘Triad tattoo’ lights up social media
DAVAO CITY—Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV became the butt of jokes after he tried, but failed, to get Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte to show his back tattoo during the Senate hearing on the Customs smuggling controversy on Thursday.
During the hearing, Trillanes said Paolo had a dragon tattooed on his back, which would show he was a member of the Asian crime syndicate, Triad. He also claimed the tattoo had numbers the US Drug Enforcement Agency (US DEA) could decode.
On Thursday, Mayor Sara Duterte posted an image of a back tattoo on Instagram, which showed a horse, a tiger and what looked like a fox, with the caption: “Trillanes and USDea. Paki Decode. Please.”
She then added: “By the way, thank you Edwin Miraflores for the triad tattoo.” Miraflores is a Quezon City-based tattoo artist.
Sara added the hashtag #trillanesdecode.
The “Triad tattoo” photo has been shared at least 1,300 times and has since generated 13,600 likes and 1,500 comments, many of which from tattooed followers.
In an earlier post, also on Thursday, Sara uploaded an edited photo of Paolo, her husband, Manases Carpio, and other officials, in which Trillanes’ image—captioned “Triad Spy”—was inserted.
On his Instagram account, Paolo also posted a photo of a man whose back had a dragon tattoo. The dragon, however, had a funny face.
Paolo, who uses PD375 as his name on Instagram, wrote: “O sige na lang oi … mamugos man mo … kana katong wala pa koy bil bil!!! (Fine … you’re persistent … that was when I still didn’t have belly fat).”
Netizens also came up with their own mockery of Trillanes’ request, posting hilarious tattoos based on a dragon—from the Japanese anime Dragon Ball to an image of a dragonfly and even Tweety Bird and Minnie Mouse.
Even the Triathlon Association of Davao (Triad) posted a “disclaimer” on Facebook, which reads: “Official Statement: We would like to categorically state that Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte is not a Triad member.” The post was punctuated by a laughing emoji in tears, and was accompanied by a screen grab of the Senate hearing, which showed Senators Dick Gordon and Trillanes.
But humor aside, sources told the Inquirer that Paolo indeed has a tattoo on his back but not of a dragon.
The sources, who claimed to have seen the tattoo, said Paolo had commissioned a tattoo artist to draw an image of Chinese philosopher and religious Taoism deity Lao Tzu or Laozi—the reputed author of “Tao Te Ching,” a set of fundamental philosophical texts for Taoism.
One of the sources, who declined to be identified, said Paolo’s tattoo, aside from Lao Tzu’s colored image, had these words written in Chinese: “To stand tall between heaven and earth and live without shame or regret.”
The line was attributed to the late Eastern Han dynasty general, Guan Yu.
Meanwhile, Malacañang is pleased with the Senate blue ribbon committee for allowing the President’s son and son-in-law to defend themselves from accusations hurled against them.
“We thank the blue ribbon committee for giving Vice Mayor Duterte and Atty. Carpio the chance to debunk baseless allegations,” said presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella.
Abella praised the lawmakers who had participated in the probe on alleged drug smuggling in the Customs, save for one who he said shared baseless claims and then put the onus of disproving these on the resource persons.
Abella did not name the lawmaker, but he was apparently referring to Trillanes who had clashed with Paolo and Carpio at the hearing.
Trillanes had grilled Paolo about his supposed membership in a Chinese drug triad and his bank accounts, and also questioned Carpio about his bank accounts.
“While nearly all senators showed respect for truth and reason, we caution against a particular one, who made baseless claims of purported bank accounts and body markings and then prodded witnesses to disprove his claims instead of presenting validating proofs,” Abella said.
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