By Vanne Elaine Terrazola
Senator Antonio Trillanes IV said he will face the criminal case filed against him by Labor Undersecretary Jacinto (Jing) Paras for supposedly threatening the latter during a confrontation in the Senate last week.
Paras, on Wednesday, filed before the Pasay City Prosecutors’ Office a complaint for grave threat after Trillanes allegedly threatened him when they met last May 29.
Trillanes, commenting on Paras’ move, denied the former congressman’s claims as he questioned his credibility for being accused of stealing the cell phone of Akbayan Representative Tom Villarin.
“Walang katotohanan ‘yan (That is not true). Paras has the zero-credibility of a cell phone thief,” Trillanes said in a statement Wednesday.
“Ganun pa man, haharapin ko yan. Pero makikita natin dito na gagawin lahat ng mga alagad ni Duterte para madistract o ma-harass ang mga taga-oposisyon (Nevertheless, I will face the charges. But we will see that Duterte’s followers will do everything to distract and harass members of the opposition),” he added.
In an earlier interview with Senate reporters following the confrontation, Trillanes negated Paras’ narration.
According to him, Paras “suddenly” greeted him and attempted to shake hands with him before last Tuesday’s session.
“Gusto niya akong kamayan. So sinabi ko sa kanya, ‘Ang lakas naman ng loob mo, kinaso-kasuhan mo ‘ko tapos makikipagkamay ka sa ‘kin?’ So ‘yon ang puno’t dulo n’yan (He offered his hand for a hand shake. So I told him, ‘How dare you shake hands with me when you filed a case against me?’ That’s the root of the confrontation),”
“Tapos (later on), sinabi ko sa kanya, na kung ganyan kayo, siguraduhin niyo na panghabangbuhay na nasa poder ng kapangyarihan si Duterte. Yun ang sinabi ko,” he added.
While admitting being irked by Paras’ gesture, Trillanes said he “only expressed” his sentiment in what he said was supposed to be “private conversation” between them.
Trillanes said Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri mediated in the exchange, but maintained that there was no intention to threaten Paras.
It was Paras, according to Trillanes, who issued the threat to himself.
“Ang sinabi niya sige ipapatay na raw sya sabi ko ‘Huwag ka ngang umarte d’yan’ (He told me to order to kill him but I told him ‘Stop with your drama’),” he recalled.
Paras, an ally of President Duterte, was a member of the group which charged Trillanes for alleged inciting to sedition for supposedly encouraging members of the military to shoot the President in a privilege speech.