Senate minority bloc members have closed ranks behind their colleague, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, amid menace of subjecting him to an ethics proceedings after he engaged in a conflict with Sen. Richard Gordon throughout the blue ribbon committee listening to Thursday.
While they expressed severe concern on the specter of subjecting Trillanes to an ethics proceedings, “we cannot help but ask our colleagues in the majority if this is an attempt to harass and intimidate a colleague in the opposition,” they stated.
Gordon is about to file a grievance in opposition to Trillanes following a heated exchanges in the midst of their proceedings on the alleged smuggling of shabu from China and alleged corruption within the Bureau of Customs (BOC).
“There appears to be a pattern of filing of ethics complaints against senators who do not subscribe to the views of those aligned with the administration,” Senators Bam Aquino, Leila de Lima, Franklin Drilon, Risa Hontiveros and Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan stated in an announcement.
They famous comparable circumstances filed in opposition to De Lima someday final yr whereas she was nonetheless the chair of the Senate committee on justice and human rights, one other filed on the decrease home, earlier than the Senate majority voted to take away her from sitting as chair of the stated panel.
“Now we have this threat of a case filed against Sen. Sonny (Trillanes) that came after his line of questioning in the hearing led to linking (Davao City Vice Mayor) Paolo Duterte to smuggling in the BoC. Is this ethics case meant to silence the opposition in the Senate and the critics of the administration?” they requested.
Trillanes claimed that the presidential son is alleged to be engaged in smuggling actions and presupposed to be a part of the so-called Davao Group.
“The Senate minority bloc stands behind Sen. Sonny (Trillanes) in his desire to ferret out the truth and will oppose efforts to stifle dissent and silence the opposition that are essential in a vibrant democracy,” they stated.
“We urge our colleagues in the majority to rethink their position as regards this threat. Even assuming for the sake of argument that this is not the intention of the Senate majority, the result of a decision of either a suspension or dismissal will have the same effect of weakening the opposition in particular and our democracy as a whole where dissent must be respected,” they stated.