Inteligent Talk’s Eye on The Philippines exclusive interview with President Rodrigo Duterte’s most prominent opponent in The Philippines Senator Antonio Trillanes.
The interview was conducted on Tuesday October 16th, 2018 on the telephone.
Senator Trillanes was elected in 2007 to the Senate of The Phillipines. President Duterte, a former Mayor of Davao, is the son of Vincent Duterte who was Governor of the then province of Davao. Davao is located on the island of Mindanao in the South of the country. Duterte’s daughter is the current Mayor of Davao.
Trillanes had been involved in an attempt to overthrow a previous President (Arroyo) and was later given an amnesty which Duterte has tried to revoke. When he was elected to the Senate, Trillanes was still in jail for this attempt.
The interview begins with Triallanes answering charges by Duterte that his opposition is just based on his not being given the chance to be Duterte’s vice-President. He shares a conversation he had with Duterte in a meeting with him before he was President.
Trillanes then makes the allegation against Duterte that he had a secret bank account with millions of US dollars obtained through illicit means while Mayor of Davao City.
He next discusses the reasons why Duterte was elected. Trillanes also discusses his fear that Duterte would like to declare marshall law and rule as a dictator as President Ferdinand Marcos did. Duterte is an admirer of Marcos and Marcos’s son is an ally of Duterte.
Senator Trillanes next discuses the alleged ties to the drug trade by Duterte and his son Paolo, including ties to Chinese triads. Trillanes believes Duterte’s ties to drug smuggling began in 2000. He believes that the President’s tough talk on drugs is meant as a distraction.
Next he discusses the opposition to Duterte and the case against Senator de Lima who was the most prominent opposition figure to Duterte before she was arrested.
Trillanes concludes by discussing his belief in the actual number of people killed under Duterte which is higher then many reported numbers. He also discusses why he believes Duterte has adopted an accommodating stance towards China in the face of China’s building of military fortifications off the coast of The Philippines. Finally, Trillanes states his belief that Duterte is a closet authoritarian communist similar to Hugo Chavez, which would also help to explain Duterte’s anti-American views.