- Senator denied lawyering for family members of president involved in BOC smuggling mess
- He said criticism unfounded, stressed he owes the president nothing
- He also pointed to his past confrontations with previous presidents
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Richard “Dick” Gordon brushed off fellow lawmaker Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV’s accusation he was lawyering for presidential family members Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte and Atty. Mans Carpio amid their alleged involvement in smuggling activities inside the Bureau of Customs (BOC).
Saying the criticism was unfounded, Gordon stressed he owes President Rodrigo Duterte nothing and was not taking their side contrary to what Trillanes is claiming.
“Sino ba kinakatigan ko? Bakit? [Who am I siding with? Why?] Do I owe Duterte anything? Do I owe anybody anything? Please don’t judge,” the Philippine Daily Inquirer quoted him as saying. “I don’t react to criticisms especially if they are unfounded. I’ve been criticized all my life.”
As proof that he was beholden to no one, Gordon pointed to his past confrontations with Duterte’s predecessors —including late presidents Corazon Aquino and Ferdinand Marcos.
“I’ve gone against past presidents of the Philippines. Hindi ako nagtatapang-tapangan, sabi nga niya lumaban ako; nag-barricade ako noon sa Subic. Oo, nilabanan ko si Aquino at si Marcos,” he said.
[I’m not pretending to be fearless, I fought back as what Trillanes said; I barricaded myself in Subic. Yes, I fought back against former presidents Corazon Aquino and Ferdinand Marcos.]”
Gordon and Trillanes are currently engaged in a word war after the latter described the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee which the former chairs as a “committee de abswelto” for deciding not to invite the younger Duterte and Carpio to their hearing over the smuggling inquiry.
In turn, Gordon said Trillanes should present solid evidence of the two’s alleged involvement before they can make the invitation.