Banat ni Barok: Whatever happened to Trillanes?

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By Louis “Barok” Biraogo

When Antonio Trillanes IV was still a senator, he called many press conferences where he spoke almost endlessly against President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.

Trillanes also hosted political soirées where politicized priests and nuns who were openly against the current administration grabbed the chance to speak to reporters to accuse the president of practically everything under the sun.

The senator basked in those press conferences and soirées.

There was an occasion when Trillanes actually sought sanctuary in the Senate building when he found out that police authorities were out to serve a warrant for his arrest. Afraid of getting arrested, Trillanes lived inside his office for a while, at public expense, of course.

In one of those press conferences, a politicized priest who was obviously a Trillanes admirer, said he was asking God to make President Duterte fall ill. That priest should have been rebuked by Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, but the equally politicized archbishop who desperately wants to become Pope someday acquiesced and kept silent. Those three guys complement each other.

Trillanes is out of office and no longer calls press conferences or hosts political soirees. That’s because he no longer has public funds to spend on those activities. Now that he has to spend his own personal money for anything he does, those press conferences and political soirees are no more. What an opportunist!

Even the more than 50 office consultants he hired, some of whom are his relatives, who used to be on the government payroll when Trillanes was still a senator, are no longer around.

From the last news reports about him, Trillanes is preparing himself for a wave of criminal cases to be filed against him by the Department of Justice. That should keep him occupied in the meantime. It also means Trillanes will have to get a private lawyer to defend him, at his own personal expense.

Trillanes isn’t new to legal controversies. Together with fellow military mutineers Danilo Lim and Nicanor Faeldon, Trillanes led an unsuccessful military mutiny against the government of then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, who threw him in a military stockade.

Lim is currently the incompetent chairman of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority. Instead of attending to the traffic mess in the national capital region, Lim was occupied with the Metro Manila Film Festival.

Trillanes was released from the slammer by President Benigno Aquino III. The grateful mutineer thus became a staunch supporter, a stooge even, of Aquino ever since.

This conceited ex-senator likes to identify himself as the nemesis of President Duterte, and he has been predicting Duterte’s downfall since the president assumed office in 2016.

Last week, the independent surveys gave President Duterte an overwhelming, unprecedented 87% popularity rate among the people. That figure is enough for Trillanes to reconsider his public statements against the president.

No wonder Trillanes has been quiet very lately. He is also probably hiding from his other nemesis, Labor Undersecretary Jacinto Paras, who sued him in court for alleged anomalies.

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