Photo File from THEPHILBIZNEWS
In response to President Rodrigo Duterte’s accusation that Senator Antonio “Sonny” Trillanes IV has not done anything to uplift the welfare of the police and military, the Senator presented a list of laws and projects he pushed for the military and police to the media.
Among the listed laws relating to military and other uniformed personnel which were authored and sponsored by Trillanes in the list he presented were Joint Resolution No. 5 which Increased the Subsistence Allowance of Uniformed Personnel from P90 to P150; the New AFP Modernization Act; the Salary Standardization Law 3, which increased the salaries of the uniformed personnel and pensions of the retirees; and RA 10649 which increased the Burial Assistance for Veterans from P10,000 to Php 20,000.
Apart from these, he also introduced 18 AFP-related bills which are still pending at the committee level.
The embattled Senator also presented a list of infrastructure projects for the military which were financed through his assistance which include construction of barracks, mess halls and quarters for enlisted personnel, club rooms and quarters for officers, and multi-purpose buildings in different camps around the country.
Last Saturday Duterte accused the former military officer turned senator did little to help the Armed Forces despite being close to former President Benigno Aquino III. He said, “It was Trillanes who is pretending to be a crusading soldier when as a matter of fact, wala naman silang ginawa.” He also added, that Trillanes abandoned the cause of the military and instead took advantage of his position for personal gain.
“He not only abandoned the vision of the military, he became a corrupt guy, collecting diyan sa mga negosyante (from businessmen). Para siyang abogado. Alam namin ‘yan kasi ang negosyante, maski paano mo taguin, nagsasabi talaga yan (He was like a lawyer. We know that because you know businessmen, no matter how you try to hide, they will tell),” he added.
In an apparent defense to his attack against Trillanes, the President said, “Remember we never started this ruckus (obviously referring to his continuous attack against Trillanes.
In response to this Trillanes said, “Duterte is so insecure that he needed to compare his contributions to the military to mine. Well, first of all, there shouldn’t be any competition about this, both of us are expected to look out for the welfare of our soldiers. Wala dapat kompetisyon. But for him to say that I contributed nothing, is one big lie.”
Trillanes, who got involved in two failed rebellion against former President Gloria Arroyo, said “If Duterte thinks that he can buy the loyalty of the military and use them as instruments of oppression, he’s dead wrong, because the soldiers would remain faithful to their constitutional mandate.
“Instead of persecuting his critics, Mr. Duterte should just focus his remaining energy to solving the major problems confronting our countrymen, foremost of which is the rising cost of living,” he added.
Duterte has repeatedly been forced to sideline his official functions and duties to respond to criticisms and claims of Trillanes, who has accused the President of corruption.
However, in November 2017, the Office of the Ombudsman dismissed a plunder case filed by Trillanes against Duterte and Solicitor General Jose Calida said, “There was no evidence to support the claim” of Trillanes.