Trillanes turns down political asylum offers: Fight is here

'Parang abandonment 'yun e, andirito 'yung laban e so we have to be here,' says former senator Antonio Trillanes IV

Lian Buan

Published: 10:00 PM February 19, 2020

Updated: 3:17 PM February 21, 2020

POLITICAL ASYLUM? Ex-senator Antonio Trillanes IV says he turned down offers of political asylum. Photo by Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – Former senator Antonio Trillanes IV said he turned down offers of political asylum from other countries, saying "the fight is here."

"Ang feeling ko kasi parang abandonment 'yun e, andirito 'yung laban e so we have to be here, and there are people fighting along with me, and hindi naman sila fortunate enough to be offered such an asylum," Trillanes said in a Rappler Talk interview on Wednesday, February 19.

(I feel like it's abandonment, the fight is here so we have to be here, and there are people fighting along with me, and they're not fortunate enough to be offered such an asylum.)

Trillanes did not reveal which countries offered him asylum but said the offers were not recent.

"It was a genuine offer and I believe alam nila 'yung nangyayari sa ating bansa (they know what's happening in our country), so they would want people to do the fighting in a safe and secure environment," Trillanes said.

Trillanes said he feels he and members of the opposition are "winning the fight" against President Rodrigo Duterte, never mind that the yearend surveys still show the President enjoys high popularity and trust ratings.

"'Yang SWS and Pulse Asia, time and again hindi ko binibigyan ng credence 'yan kasi in 2007, they said hindi ako mananalo, bakit ko sila papaniwalaan when they missed me the first time?" said Trillanes, who ran for and won a Senate seat in the 2007 elections while still detained in Camp Crame.

(Time and again I have not given credence to SWS and Pulse Asia because in 2007, they said I will not win, so why would I believe them when they missed me the first time?)

Trillanes said their internal survey shows Duterte's ratings have gone down.

"We validate it through our own internal surveys which we have been using, and his numbers are going down. It's still relatively high, but from the low 90s where he came from, he's down to high 30s," Trillanes said.

ICC case 

Trillanes said the International Criminal Court or ICC's preliminary examination into the high killings in Duterte's war on drugs presents a real threat to his administration, adding that the President is "nangangatog at napapraning (shaking and paranoid)."

Trillanes has faced 14 cases under the Duterte administration, the recent being conspiracy to commit sedition over the Bikoy Ang Totoong Narcolist videos. 

He has a kidnapping complaint still pending resolution before the Department of Justice (DOJ). It is a non-bailable offense, which, if found basis by the DOJ, can send him to jail indefinitely.

Trillanes said he's continuing the vetting of information against the administration, despite the fact that these kinds of vetting activities are what got him sued in the first place.

"Lumalakas ang loob ng mga tao (people now have the guts), they're sharing what they know," added Trillanes, who said he does not regret engaging with Peter Joemel "Bikoy" Advincula, because that's just what the job entails.

Trillanes also dismissed the retraction of Jude Sabio, and shrugged off potential future lawsuits that may arise out of Sabio's accusation that the opposition "used" him.

"Sa akin, irrelevant na 'yun, for as long as it doesn't affect the ICC case, and we have been assured na hindi makakaapekto 'yung ginawa niya, then okay lang," Trillanes said.

(For me, that's irrelevant now, for as long as it doesn't affect the ICC case and we have been assured that it will not have an effect, so that's okay.)

Sabio, who filed the first communication to the ICC accusing Duterte of committing crimes against humanity, recently retracted his statements, but ICC procedures do not allow for a withdrawal.

ICC's preliminary examination is open-sourced and does not rely on complaints or specific communications. – Rappler.com