A lawmaker on Wednesday said former Senator Antonio Trillanes’ plunder allegations against President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is “highly irresponsible” and “very uncalled for.”
“That is a highly irresponsible statement,” Surigao del Sur First District Rep. Prospero Pichay said in a media interview.
Pichay made the statement after Trillanes accused Duterte and Senator Christopher “Bong” Go of alleged plunder involving P6.6 billion in government projects, majority of the amount was secured by Go’s family during Duterte’s first two years as president.
“The President has no power to give projects because we have the Procurement Law – Republic Act 9184,” said Prospero, also secretary general of Lakas Christian-Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD), in Filipino.
He said the procurement law provides that the government has to go through a bidding process while the Commission on Audit (COA) will only allow payment after the completion of the projects.
“But the projects were won through bidding, if it is properly implemented, where is plunder. No element of plunder,” Pichay said partly in Filipino.
“That is why we, it’s really uncalled for to say that the President gave it to the family of Senator Bong Go ng projects and it is plunder,” he added partly in Filipino.
Malacañang earlier said Trillanes will certainly fail to prove his “rehashed” plunder allegations against Duterte and Go.
“At a time of politics, let us expect allegations like these but don’t forget that these accusations have been hurled before. Nothing was proven before, nothing will be proven today, and nothing will be proven tomorrow,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in Filipino.
Pichay said Trillanes has political ambitions in 2022 and instead of flaunting his achievements, the former senator resorted to “dirty politics.” Trillanes earlier expressed the intention to run for president.
He said the former senator is targeting Duterte to gain “free exposure”.
“Well, definitely! You want free exposure? Say something bad against the President, definitely it will come out in the press even if it is not true,” he said.
Pichay, however, said Trillanes should not resort to black propaganda and fake news.
“That’s black propaganda, that is fake news and that is libelous,” he said. “As a politician I do not resort to that, I just come out with what I have done in the past so many years.”