Malacañang is certain that Senator Antonio Trillanes IV will fail in proving his “rehashed” plunder allegations against President Rodrigo Duterte and Senator Christopher “Bong” Go.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made this statement after Trillanes accused Duterte and Go of committing plunder amounting to P6.6 billion over public works contracts won by the construction firm owned by Go’s family.
“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,” he said in Filipino in a Palace press briefing.
Go earlier expressed confidence that Trillanes would not be able to substantiate his claim against him and Duterte.
“We’re used to it already. He will make an accusation which is baseless because all he knows is invent stories,” Go said in Filipino.
Roque said Trillanes’ accusations were rehashed allegations he failed to prove in the past.
“That’s an old allegation. He wasn’t able to prove anything when he was still in the Senate,” he added in Filipino.
Roque dared Trillanes to file charges against the two, noting that Duterte’s immunity from suit does not mean that he cannot be investigated.
If there is evidence, he said Trillanes should file the cases now and not wait for Duterte’s term to end in June next year.
“Why would he wait for the President’s term to end, he should file charges now. Because when you say sovereign immunity from suit, it doesn’t mean investigation cannot proceed. They can investigate,” he said in Filipino.
Roque pointed out that Trillanes only had articles from online news site Rappler and media organization Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ), which cannot be used as evidence.
“The problem with Trillanes is he has no evidence. His evidence comes from Rappler, PCIJ and the courts won’t accept those,” he said.
He explained that owning construction firms does not prove that Go’s family is guilty of corruption.In a video upload on YouTube, Trillanes claimed that construction firms owned by Go’s family had won government projects worth as much as P6.6 billion, specifically P1.5 billion when Duterte was still Davao City mayor and P5.1 billion on the first two years of his presidency.