By Vanne Elaine Terrazola
Senator Antonio Trillanes IV announced he will be suing Sen. Richard Gordon for plunder [tomorrow], November 8, before the Office of the Ombudsman, making true his threat to expose the latter’s alleged anomalies involving the Philippine Red Cross (PRC).
Trillanes on Tuesday said he will file a plunder charge against Gordon for supposedly amassing millions-worth of Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or “pork barrel” funds through the Philippine Red Cross (PRC), which he chairs for several years.
“Noong senador siya, nung first term niya, nag-allocate siyang pondo sa Red Cross habang chairman siya. Bawal yun…Kung titignan mo walang problema, Red Cross naman yan, eh. Kaso siya yung chairman, siya yung nagdidisburse,” Trillanes told reporters during [today’s] Kapihan sa Senado.
The opposition senator claimed that Gordon channeled around P193 million of his PDAF to the humanitarian group which, however, were used for various “anomalous deals.” An amount of which, Trillanes said, was used by Gordon for his presidential campaign during the 2010 national elections.
“Ginamit niya yung Red Cross para sa sariling interes,” Trillanes accused Gordon.
He also likened Gordon’s supposed act to the infamous PDAF scandal in 2013 involving members of the Congress who allegedly pocketed P10 billion worth of tax-payer’s money by funneling PDAF funds to fake livelihood projects and non-government organizations (NGOs) by businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles, who was later hailed “pork barrel queen.”
Trillanes said his legal team already prepared the evidence, both testimonial and documentary, to present against Gordon. After filing the case Wednesday morning, Trillanes said he would urge his fellow senators to remove Gordon as chair of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee when the Senate resumes session on November 16.
He said he would also appeal to the Commission on Audit and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent to conduct independent investigations to uncover Gordon’s supposed plunder.