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Palace: Up to DOJ to probe Trillanes for treason

Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, a vocal critic of President Rodrigo Duterte, has confirmed going to the US to meet with American officials to talk about enhancing bilateral ties, corruption and human rights. AFP/Noel Celis, File

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang is leaving it to the Department of Justice (DOJ) to look into allegations that Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV committed treason when he spoke with American officials to discuss corruption and the human rights situation in the Philippines. 

Trillanes, a vocal critic of President Duterte, has confirmed going to the US to meet with American officials to talk about enhancing bilateral ties, corruption and human rights.

But he denied trying to stop the state visit of US President Donald Trump, noting that presidential trips are carefully planned and cannot be stopped by the statements of a senator. 

Some supporters of Duterte have posted online messages asking the government to investigate whether Trillanes had committed treason when he met with American officials to discuss the drug-related killings in the Philippines. 

Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar yesterday said it would be up to the justice department to handle the accusations against Trillanes. 

“Ah ‘yan ay pag-aaralan ng Department of Justice, pag-aaralan ‘yan ng mga abogado ng ating Pangulo, sapagka’t ito rin po ay mga legal matters (That will be studied by the Department of Justice, that will be studied by the lawyers of our President because these are legal matters),” Andanar told radio station dzMM yesterday. 

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“We have to study this first. It’s hard to make hasty pronouncements,” he added. 

Trillanes has accused Duterte of having billions in undeclared wealth and challenged the President to sign a waiver to disclose his bank accounts. Duterte has denied the allegation and has expressed willingness to resign if proven that he has more than P40 million in his savings accounts.  

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