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Trillanes files ethics complaint vs Gordon for 'unparliamentary acts, behavior'

Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV filed on Thursday an ethics complaint against Sen. Richard Gordon for his alleged 'unparliamentary acts and behavior.' Senate PRIB/Alexis Nuevaespaña, File

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV formally filed an ethics complaint against Sen. Richard Gordon on Thursday over the latter's alleged "unparliamentary acts, language and disorderly behavior" during some committee hearings of the Senate.

Trillanes said that the acts and actions of Gordon were a violation of the law and the rules of the Senate and "adversely" reflected on the chamber as an institution.

According to Trillanes, Gordon violated the Senate's parliamentary rules by his different ways of addressing majority and minority senators, by cutting off and arguing with fellow lawmakers and accusing them of malicious motives and anomalies.

READ:  Trillanes dares Gordon: Go ahead, file ethics case

These acts, according to the senator, were a violation of the Rules of the Senate, the Revised Penal Code, the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees and/or Lawyers' Code of Professional Responsibility.

"Complainant most earnestly prays of the Honorable Chairman and Members of the Senate Committee on Ethics and Accountability...for the appropriate sanctions and/or penalties be imposed upon him, commensurate to the gravity of his offenses," Trillanes said in his complained submitted to the ethics committee.

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Trillanes accused Gordon of "malicious utterances" during the August 31, 2007 hearing of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee where the two engaged in a heated argument over the need to invite to the proceedings the son and the son in law of President Rodrigo Duterte who were alleged to be involved in the smuggling of illegal drugs into the country.

It was Gordon who resorted to name-calling and precipitated the heated argument between the two, according to Trillanes.

Trillanes accused Gordon, the chairman of the blue ribbon panel, of "imputing ill-motives against him" by cutting him off and refusing to provide him an opportunity to explain his side.

The accusation that Trillanes turned the Senate into a "cockpit of gossips" and of talking about things he did not know constituted "the use of offensive language against a colleague," Trillanes said.

The opposition senator noted that Gordon should have allowed him to explain his comments or yielded the floor to another member of the committee before engaging him in a debate as prescribed by the parliamentary rules the chamber followed.

"Clearly respondent cannot be allowed to complain about an incident which is of his own making. As the Chairman of the Committee who broke the Rules and precipitated the whole incident, he should be the one to be held liable for the product of his malfeasance," he said.

Gordon 'unfair'

Trillanes also accused Gordon of making "unfair and unwarranted" allegations against Sen. Leila De Lima and him without asking them to explain their side.

According to Trillanes, the accusation of Gordon that De Lima committed "material concealment" when she allegedly failed to inform the committee that Davao Death Squad witness Edgar Matobato faced charges before the National Bureau of Investigation was unfounded as the transcript of the hearings showed that the panel was told about the cases.

De Lima was repeatedly cut off and denied the opportunity to explain by Gordon, according to Trillanes.

Trillanes also slammed the accusation against him by Gordon that he allowed the witness to go because they sensed that his testimony was about to be eroded due to the case filed against him.

He said that Matobato had been in the Senate since 7 in the morning that day, and they had to return him to their safe house as it was already getting dark at the time.

"These facts were manifested on the floor and the undersigned even called the attention of the Chairman and Committee on the relevant portions of the TSN (transcript of stenographic notes) in this regard," he said.

These accusations were instances of oral defamation or slander and a violation of Article 358 of the Revised Penal Code, according to the opposition lawmaker.

Gordon's acts can also be considered a violation of Section 4(c) of the Code of Conduct for Public Officials and Employees, according to Trillanes.

He added that Gordon failed to show conduct consistent with and proper with his duties as law year and senator through his words and actions.

Gordon earlier filed an ethics complaint against Trillanes for his alleged "unparliamentary behavior" during the hearing where they clashed.


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