The lawyer of the late Chief Justice Renato Corona and spokesperson for political affairs of former Vice President Jejomar Binay exposed the alleged corruption practices of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV.
In a press release published on the Office of the Vice President website, Atty. Rico Quicho discovered some P600,000 of dubious “financial assistance” given to the senator by his relatives as declared in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) for 2013 and 2014.
Quincho questioned why Senator Trillanes accepted the financial assistance from his relatives, and he expressed his willingness to identify these people who gave the money to the fiercest critic of his boss.
“Nakita ko ho itong 2013 at 2014 na SALN ni Senator Trillanes. Meron hong entrada doon sa SALN niya kung titingnan n’yo, doon sa kanang bahagi sa taas, Income as Senator, Income of Spouse, mayroon ho doong entry na ‘financial assistance from relatives.’ Tapos mayroon pa ho siya doong mga pension. Pag tinototal n’yo po ‘yan, ‘yon po ang kanyang income,” Quicho Quicho said during the Kapihan Forum held at Annabel’s Restaurant in Quezon City.
“Ang tanong ko, bakit tumatanggap si Senator Trillanes ng P600,000 as financial assistance from a relative? For transparency, sino ho itong mga relatives na ‘to?” he asked Trillanes.
“Sabi nga ng isang magaling na komedyante no’n, explain before you complain,” Quicho said.
According to him, any amount given by a relative to a public official should be held subject to donor’s tax.
“Ang tanong, Senator Trillanes, tama po ba si Atty. Quicho na may financial assistance kayo from a relative? Sino ho itong relative ninyo? Nagbayad ho ba ito ng tamang buwis? At bakit ho kayo binibigyan? Senador na ho kayo, mayroon na ho kayong sariling income, humihingi pa ba kayo ng ayuda sa kapamilya ninyo?” Quicho said.
The lawyer also criticized Senator Trillanes for resorting to harassment and intimidation instead of explaining the issues threw against him.
‘Eto po ‘yong mga kinakailangang sagutin at pangatawanan ninyo. Hindi ‘yong [may[ issue tayo dito [tapos] tatakutin n’yo ho kami,” he said.
“Ngayon, sasabihin ni Senator Trillanes paranoid [ako]. Paano ho ako magiging paranoid, mga kasamahan n’yo na rin ho ‘yong mga senate reporters, mismong sila ho narinig nila [‘yong banta n’yo]. Ano ho ‘yong paranoia do’n e factual naman ho ‘yon,” he added.
Trillanes threatened that he would order his consultants to put Quicho under surveillance after the latter asked Trillanes to be investigated by the Senate ethics committee for including his alleged house help in his list of consultants. The house help was reportedly being paid P3,500 a month.
Moreover, Quicho asked Trillanes to explain the qualifications of three of his consultants.
“Sino ho ba si Sonny Madarang? Ang pagkakaalam ko po, itong si Sonny Madarang ay enlisted personnel pa rin po ito ng Philippine Navy. At tumatanggap na ho siya ng suweldo do’n, binabayaran n’yo pa ho siya as consultant ng P71,000,” Quicho said.
“Itong P71,000 po na ‘to, pag titingnan n’yo ‘to, suweldo na po ito ng colonel. Suweldo na po itong colonel, at ito pong si Sonny Madarang, ito po ay sarhento,” he added.
“Pangalawa, Senator Trillanes, sino ho ba si Jaime Torato? Ang pagkakaalam ko ho, ito ho ay ama ng isang kasamahan n’yo diyan sa Magdalo. Ano ho ang qualification niya at binabayaran natin, mga kababayan, ng P71,000 kada buwan?”
Torato is allegedly the father of Andy Torato, who was dismissed from service by the Armed Forces of the Philippines after pleading guilty to conduct unbecoming of an officer and gentleman in connection with his involvement in the 2003 Oakwood mutiny.
“Panghuli, sino ho ba itong si Segundino Orfiano? Ang pagkakaalam ko ho ay ito ay dating Air Force at kasama rin ho ito ni Senator Trillanes sa mga activities niya before. Ano ho ang qualification?” Quicho asked.
“Isa pa, si brother n’yo po, Senator Trillanes. Ano pong qualification niya? Ano ho ang accomplishment niya para bayaran ho namin siya ng P71,000 a month? Sagutin n’yo po ‘yan. Huwag po tayo sa takutan,” he added.
Senator Trillanes didn’t give any comment on the claims of Atty. Quicho.
We also tried to check the article from the Office of the Vice President, however the article was deleted.
Even President Rodrigo Duterte confirmed during an interview with journalist Erwin Tulfo that Senator Trillanes IV had 200 consultants.
“Basta more than 150, ang DAP (Disbursement Acceleration Program) ano niya.. that’s why it’s being questioned by COA.. lalabas yan.. Ipapalabas ko yan dahil dapat mali eh,” Duterte said.
“DAP is livelihood, para tulong sa taong kababayan nating mahirap, accelerated development nga eh.. ang iba namang may kaso, nag create sila ng dummy doon nila ipinasa yung pera..” he added.
Based on Senate records, Trillanes spent more than P18 million in consultancy fees for 2014, the highest among senators.
However, in an old interview, the fiercest critic of Duterte defended the use of his funds in the senate.
He said that he hired consultants to help him know more about issues in different provinces.
“Ang opisina ng senador is a national office. Kung maghahanap lang tayo ng consultant bawat probinsiya para lang mapupulsuhan namin everytime kung ano ang nangyayari doon o ano ang kanilang palagay doon sa bawat isang national issue, 80 ho ang probinsiya mo so 80 consultants ka na kaagad technically. Bawat departamento ng gobyerno, 20, 100 na ‘yan.” he said.
“So ganoon po ‘yan, depende sa pangangailangan ng opisina mo. So tayo ho, very active ho tayo, ginagamit natin sila for information gathering, intel gathering, and so on and so forth, kaya tayo nakakapagserbisyo ng maayos,” he said, adding that he can account for every consultant his office hires. Hindi ito ibinubulsa. They are real people.” he added.
Trillanes also pointed out that there’s nothing wrong with spending the budget allocated to them as long as they’re not stealing it.
“Ang bottomline naman nito, binigyan kami ng budget, let’s say P50 million a year, gastusin niyo ‘yan, na huwag niyong ibubulsa.” he said.