Cayetano defends Duterte: Trillanes is a ‘Poe-tector’

Rosette Adel - Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines – Vice Presidential candidate Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano on Wednesday defended his running mate Davao City Mayor Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte against claims of fellow vice presidential candidate Sen. Antonio “Sonny” Trillanes IV that the mayor has an undeclared bank account.

Cayetano alleged that presidential candidate Sen. Grace Poe has a hand in Trillanes’s claims as he is a protector of Poe or a “Poe-tector.” He said Trillanes, a known supporter of the lady presidential bet, personally told him that he will follow Poe’s orders during the start of the campaign.

“Unang-una Senator Trillanes is not the Senator Trillanes you know in the Senate right now. He is now a Poe-tector. Ang trabaho ni Senator Trillanes isa lang: tumira sa mga kalaban ni Senator Poe,” Cayetano told the reporters in an ambush interview after Duterte’s Makati Business Club speech at the Manila Peninsula.

“Nung nag-umpisa ang kampanya sinabi ni Senator Trillanes, kung ano sabihin sa kanya ni Grace, gagawin niya. Sinabi 'wag niya upakan si Sen. Chiz [Escudero], gagawin niya ito. So ngayon na ginagawa ni Senator Trillanes ito (claims against Duterte), walang duda na may go signal ng core group at ni Senator Grace,”  he alleged.

Cayetano slammed Poe for contradicting her call to stop mudslinging, claiming that she herself resorted to it. He also questioned why Poe did not use the debate to show her strengths and instead used black propaganda against her rivals.

“Nakakahiya yung ginagawa ni Senator Poe. Sasabihin niya sa lahat ng tao, sa lahat ng speech niya wag magbatuhan ng putik at sa programa tayo (mag-focus) then gagamitin niya si Senator Trillanes para gawin ito. That's beyond doubt,” Cayetano said.

Meanwhile, to defend Duterte, Cayetano showed a chart of their authorized waiver to all local and foreign currencies both here and abroad signed by him and Duterte. The senator said it was submitted to their rivals last March 11 and can be verified with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and any bank.

“Kung may bank account kami na ‘di nakadeclare sa SALN sa aming government officials, bakit kami pipirma nito? Bakit sila ang ‘di pumirma? Even si Vice President (Jejomar) Binay ang gusto niya sa AMLC (Anti-Money Laundering Council) lang waiver, hindi yung sa bangko,” Cayetano stressed saying there should be no specific waiver.

Photo by Philstar.com/Rosette Adel

'Desperate attempt'

Cayetano also alleged that the Poe team is only exposing these allegations to keep up with Duterte’s surge in nationwide surveys.

“It is a desperate attempt by the Poe team to smear the name and reputation of Mayor Duterte para makahabol sila sa eleksyon,” Cayetano said.

“You saw what the Aquino administration did to its enemies. Do you think kung may hawak sila kontrolado naman nila lahat ng agencies pati AMLC, tingin niyo kung meron hindi nilabas nila nung una palang nag-number one si Mayor Duterte? He added.

Asked for his reaction on reports that he is the next target of Trillanes’s expose, Cayetano said they should discuss it at the Manila Peninsula alluding to Trillanes’s involvement in the hotel siege. He said Trillanes knows the truth.

“Style niya yan e. E di dito siya pumunta sa Peninsula. Ay sandali lang, hindi nga pala siya papasukin dito so sa ibang lugar na lang kami magkita. Anytime, it’s not about kung sinong magaling, it’s about telling the truth,” Cayetano said.

“My friend, you are lying. You know you are doing this for Senator Poe,” he added.

Cayetano and Trillanes are both members of the Nacionalista Party.

RELATED: Trillanes claims Duterte has P211M in undeclared bank account

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