Senator Antonio Trillanes IV will not apologize for calling the Senate as “lapdogs” of President Rodrigo Duterte and his administration.
“Why should I apologize for what I think is true?” Trillanes said in an ambush interview on Tuesday.
“What I said was my observation and what I believe was true,” he added.
READ: Trillanes calls colleagues ‘wimps,’ ‘lapdogs’
Trillanes issued the statement after calls from Senators Vicente “Tito” Sotto III and Jose Victor “JV” Ejercito for him to apologize, saying it would be “an honorable way out.”
But Trillanes said if some of his colleagues would decide to file an ethics complaint against him, he would welcome it.
“I said my piece and if they believe that an ethics case is warranted, I would gladly face it,” he said.
But he said that as political figures, senators should not be onion-skinned.
“Ang sa akin lang dito, political figures tayo dito eh. ‘Wag tayong maarte,’” he said.
(I just think that as political figures, we should not be onion-skinned.)
Asked if he’s worried that he might be ostracized for his opposing stance with the most of the senators, he said: “Hindi ako magiging lone ranger dito. Baka mas marami pa akong kaibigan kaysa sa iba dyan.”
(I won’t be a lone ranger here. I might even have more friends compared with others.)
‘Waste of time’
For her part, Senator Nancy Binay said she chooses not to listen to Trillanes’s comments, saying “it’s just a waste of time.”
Asked to react on Trillanes’s “puppet” remark, Binay said: “Hindi ko alam hindi kasi ako nakikinig kapag siya ‘yung nagsasalita eh. Parang waste of time.”
(I don’t know because I don’t pay attention to him whenever he speaks. I feel like it’s just a waste of my time.)
“Hindi na nga ako nakikinig ‘pag nanggagaling sa kanya eh. So, not affected. Parang mas madami pang pagtuunan ng panahon at dapat pakinggan,” she said.
(I don’t listen to whatever comes out from him. So, I am not affected. I feel like there are other things worth doing or worth listening to.)
“Parang not productive. Iba na lang dapat ‘yung pagtuunan ng panahon (I don’t think it’s productive. I think there are others more worthy of my time),” Binay added.
Asked if she would support her colleagues who would decide to file an ethics complaint against Trillanes she said she would only back it if it has enough basis.
“Tignan natin, depende siguro kung anong complaint, kung may basehan ba talaga ‘yung complaint,” she said.
(We’ll see, it depends on what complaint and if it really has basis.)
The two senators have been at odds since Trillanes accused the Binay family of pocketing billions of pesos of government money.
Trillanes earlier lamented that the Senate has turned from the “last bastion of democracy” to merely “puppets” of Duterte and his administration.
He chided some of the members of the Senate, particularly those who hold committee chairmanships, for refusing to probe issues that would hurt the Duterte administration.