In this Aug. 31 photo, Senators Richard Gordon and Antonio Trillanes IV are pacified by Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III after the two argued over the need to invite President Duterte’s son Paolo and son-in-law Manases Carpio to a hearing on the P6.4-billion smuggled shabu. GEREMY PINTOLO, File

Gordon chides Trillanes for 'editorializing' in smuggling probe
Audrey Morallo ( - September 7, 2017 - 1:45pm

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Richard Gordon on Thursday chided Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV for "editorializing" in asking the son and the son-in-law of President Rodrigo Duterte on their alleged role in the smuggling of illegal drugs into the country.

Gordon and Trillanes had an intense and personal exchange during the last hearing of the Senate blue ribbon committee investigation into how a P6.4-billion shipment of methamphetamine was able to slip through Manila port authorities.

During Thursday's hearing, Trillanes was asking Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte and Manases Carpio, husband of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, if they had bank accounts containing hundreds of millions of pesos.

Trillanes also asked them to sign a waiver allowing scrutiny of the accounts he alleged to be owned by the two family members of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Both have invoked their right against self-incrimination and refused to sign the bank waivers.

Gordon: Facts, not editorials

"I would again ask the senator to refrain from editorials. Anyway, we are only going to go for the facts not the editorials," Gordon, the Senate panel's chair, told Trillanes who was seated just a few meters from him.

Gordon said Trillanes' supposed editorializing would not reflect well on the Senate as an institution.

The panel chair cited Trillanes' statement that he would provide the media with a copy of his presentation showing the alleged bank accounts of Carpio and Duterte as an instance of the so-called editorializing.

"It's unfair to the witness," he said.

Gordon told Trillanes that he was being liberal in the way he was conducting the hearing since he wanted the opposition senator to ask all his questions.

"I'm giving you so much leeway already just so there will be no questions. Precisely, I invited these people for you," he said.

During the panel's previous meeting, the two had a testy exchange over the committee's hesitation to invite Carpio and Duterte to its investigation.

Gordon said that he could not do that based on mere "hearsay."

Trillanes retorted that the committee had become a "committee de abswelto," prompting Gordon to rule that he was out of order and to file an ethics complaint against him.

Trillanes, in a privilege speech, accused Gordon of irregularities in his management of the Red Cross, of which he is the chairman, and vowed to also file an ethics charge against him.

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