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Trillanes denies trying to stop Trump visit to Phl

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV finally broke his silence regarding his meeting with officials of the United States government, saying the administration has nothing to worry about.

Trillanes confirmed that he met with several US officials, including Sen. Marco Rubio, whose office made the disclosure about their meeting earlier this week.

“As mentioned in the tweet of Rubio, we talked about enhancing (Philippine)-US relations, corruption and the human rights situation in the country,” Trillanes said in a statement.

The visit of Trillanes to the US and his meetings with various officials there have raised concerns from the Duterte administration, who suspect that he could be sharing information about the situation in the Philippines that could be prejudicial to the country’s interest.

It was reported that Trillanes was trying to convince the people he met with to dissuade US President Donald Trump from pushing through with his visit to the Philippines next month.

Trillanes said there was no reason for him to disseminate false information to the US officials, who he said were well aware of what is going on in the country today. 

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“Unlike the officials of the Duterte administration, I presented only factual information. Besides, you cannot fool the US government; they know what’s happening in our country,” Trillanes said.

“To be clear, I did not try to stop the state visit of Trump since these things are carefully planned and cannot be stopped on the mere say so of a Philippine senator,” he added.

Trillanes’ former colleague and ally in the Senate, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, and Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III have sounded off about the possible efforts of the senator to disrupt the good relations between the Philippines and the US.

Both Cayetano and Pimentel could not say for sure this was what Trillanes was doing in the US, but Trillanes assured them “that I pushed for the interests of our country.”

“But let me emphasize that the interests of our country are not necessarily the same as the interests of Mr. Duterte,” Trillanes said.

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