DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 14 June) – Former Davao City vice mayor Paolo Duterte vowed to file criminal and civil libel charges against opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes for dragging him in the controversial P6.4-billion shabu smuggling last year.
In a statement released on Thursday, nearly six months since he announced his resignation from his post on December 25, 2017, the former vice mayor said he would press charges against the senator for viciously destroying his name, maligning his reputation and integrity, and for deliberately manufacturing lies and spreading black propaganda against him.
“Senator Trillanes manufactured lies and deliberately spread these lies with the obvious intention of destroying my name and maligning my reputation, with a view to impacting negatively against our beloved President,” Duterte said.
He added that the senator’s parliamentary immunity could not protect him from his libelous remarks during media interviews, as these were made outside the halls of the Senate.
“The Senator was apparently emboldened by his false reliance on and abuse of his parliamentary immunity. But this immunity does not apply to libelous remarks made during media interviews, clearly as these attacks were done outside the halls of the Senate — and definitely not when these were discharged with the pure intention of destroying me,” he added.
The resigned vice mayor previously dismissed the accusation as pure lies and based entirely on gossip, downplaying it as a “desperate black propaganda against the President and his government.”
Duterte and his brother-in-law, lawyer Manases Carpio, filed a civil damage suit against Trillanes for accusing him of graft and corruption.
Duterte and Carpio were among those implicated as members of the so-called Davao Group, which was reportedly behind the P6.4-billion shabu smuggling last May 2017.
The shabu shipment came from China and arrived via the Manila International Container Port in Tondo, Manila. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)