Trillanes thriller

Published September 18, 2018, 12:05 AM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza & Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat



Jullie Yap Daza
Jullie Yap Daza

Well, it would have been thrilling but for the typhoon that took away the thunder of a spectacular arrest of a senator of the realm. Is it too late to comment on the case of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, erstwhile LTSG, Philippine Navy?

Of course it is, now that we have weathered the storm – or have we? – of the senator’s lightning outbursts, during which he called the President a drunk, paranoid, a lousy dresser so totally lacking in self-esteem (unlike military men who are trim, lean and mean in their neat, figure-hugging T-shirts). After Gringo Honasan, who was elected and reelected for his reputation as a “maverick” before it was changed to “cashiered,” proved how voters enjoy the company of rebels as a counterbalance to the compliant horde, Senator Trillanes has shown more than a streak of the contravida in public performances, usually in the form of Senate hearings.

How did he ever end up in the military, for one so unable, so unwilling to obey his superiors, who are not only older but also wiser, and of higher rank? He humiliated a general and cabinet secretary to the extent that Angelo Reyes ended his own life rather than have his honor dragged through the mud. He courted contempt not once but twice for disrespecting the rules cited by the chairman of the Blue Ribbon committee. He very nearly came to blows with a senator of his own age. In another flare-up, he leaned over another senator’s table to turn off the latter’s microphone.

Cute! That’s what we say when a baby throws a tantrum. But in the case of this telegenic lawmaker, due process demands our patience as we wait for him to grow up. So far the courts have tried to tame the President’s exasperation as due process allows him to 1) stay safe in his man-cave in the Senate building; 2) plan his next step while his lawyers invoke the line that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence; 3) extend his Andy Warhol 15 minutes of fame; 4) hope that his vision of a rub-out – his car blocked by other vehicles as their passengers jump out to abduct him, producing “silence and then I’m gone” — does not come to pass.

President Duterte’s retort, “I’m not interested in arresting him,” has muted the drama. Before the next four typhoons blow in, let the prosecution and defense go to court with clean hands and sober arguments. ###