Duterte tags Trillanes' mom, Napoles in alleged anomalous helmet deal
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte boards a plane bound for the Kingdom of Thailand at the Tactical Operations Group 11 in Davao City on June 21, 2019. The President is set to participate in the 34th Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit in Bangkok.
Presidential photo/Richard Madelo
Duterte tags Trillanes' mom, Napoles in alleged anomalous helmet deal
Alexis Romero (Philstar.com) - June 22, 2019 - 1:14pm

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has tagged the mother of his critic Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV in the supposedly anomalous purchase of P3.8 billion Kevlar helmets for the military, a deal that reportedly involved alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles. 

Duterte claimed Trillanes had tried to make it appear that his administration was meddling in the acquisition of Navy ships while his parents were the ones involved in graft and corruption at the Philippine Military Academy. 

"The number one in graft and corruption in PMA is his father, even his mother," the president said during the oath taking of local officials in Davao City last Friday. 

"Remember 'yung Kevlar? It's a hard helmet that a bullet cannot fully penetrate. That's Kevlar. The ones who delivered them were the mother of Trillanes and Napoles. That's true," he added. 

Duterte did not present proof to support his claim.

In 2001, Napoles, his husband Jaime, and 16 others were charged with graft and malversation of public funds in relation to the alleged anomalous purchase of 500 Kevlar helmets worth P3.8 million.

The purchase orders and requisition and issue orders for the helmets were reportedly split into lesser amounts to skirt the requirement to have them approved by higher authorities. The case against Jaime was dismissed in 2002 due to lack of probable cause. Napoles was also cleared of the charges in 2010.

Napoles has also been accused of diverting more than P10 billion worth of congressional funds or pork barrel to fake non-government organizations and non-existent projects. She has denied the allegations and maintained that all of her earnings came from lawful income sources.

It was not the first time Duterte accused Trillanes' mother Estelita of corruption. 

The president previously claimed that Estelita was a supplier for the Philippine Navy while the senator was a Navy officer. He also claimed Trillanes' parents had used their influence to bag supply deals with the military. 

"His (Trillanes) father was holding office in the PMA (Philippine Military Academy), Baguio. And the mother was, we are looking into the papers, you know that we’re investigating quietly the deals during the time of the father...the mother was involved," the president said last November.

Trillanes has denied Duterte's allegations and has welcomed any probe on the supposed deals involving his parents.

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