The camp of Davao City Mayor, and leading presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte, has filed treason and espionage charges against President Benigno Aquino III and Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV for undertaking “back-channel talks” with China that “only advanced [the] interest of our Asian neighbor.”
Duterte’s national campaign manager, Martin Diño, announced Friday’s filing of the treason and espionage charges by supporters of the Davao mayor in the Office of the Ombudsman, at a press conference at Club Filipino in San Juan City.
The filing came after Trillanes publicly accused Duterte, of having millions of pesos in undeclared bank accounts.
The complaint said “Senator Trillanes met with the Chinese 16 times, and he requested that the meeting [be] secret. In those meetings, Trillanes made mention that the Philippines cannot enforce coastal protection. And that made the Chinese takes an aggressive [stance] and take over our areas like Scarborough Shoal and Spratly Islands. That alone constitutes treason,” former Rep. Ronald Adamat, one of the complainants, said, quoting from supposed notes made by former Philippine Ambassador to China Sonia Brady.
Although the complaint recognized that under the law, treason requires that the Philippines be involved in a war, it said “external aggression” was committed by China when it “immediately occupied the subject areas.”
As for the charge of espionage, the complaint said China had been “emboldened” by the information “gathered from” Trillanes.
“We include the President because Trillanes could not have done this without the order of the President. They breached international policy. They did it without coursing their efforts through the foreign affairs department,” Adamat said.
On the following video, Sen. Enrile interrogates Sen. Trillanes over his China trips. The later repeatedly said his trips were confidential.
Duterte’s camp also plan to file forgery and falsification of public documents against Trillanes, after the later revealed the mayor’s bank account number in public.
Aquino on the other hand faces separate graft charges over DAF and PDAF. Lawyers have speculated that Aquino might be jailed once he steps down from the palace and have his immunity removed. /Joy Rustia/