By Macon Araneta | FilAm Star Correspondent
Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV said he did not dissuade U.S. President Donald Trump from visiting the Philippines but merely presented “factual information” about the country to senior American officials during his recent trip to the U.S.
The White House earlier confirmed that Trump will arrive in Manila on November 12 to attend the special gala celebration dinner for the 50th anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Trump is also set to attend the US-ASEAN Summit on November 13.
“To be clear, I did not try to stop the state visit of President Trump since these things are carefully planned and cannot be stopped on the mere say-so of a Philippine senator,” said Trillanes in a statement.
The opposition Senator said he had met with U.S. officials, including Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, to talk about improving Philippine-U.S. relations, and how to address issues on corruption and human-rights situation in the country.
“Unlike the officials of the Duterte administration, I presented only factual information,” said Trillanes, a rabid critic of the Duterte administration.
“Besides, you cannot fool the U.S. government; they know what’s happening in our country,” he added.
“Be assured that I pushed for the interests of our country,” he added but noting that the interests of our country are “not necessarily the same as the interests” of Duterte.
Trillanes asked the Office of the Ombudsman to investigate Duterte on allegations that he had multi-billion-peso undeclared wealth, prompting the Ombudsman to investigate.
Sought for his comments on reports that Trillanes is in the U.S. to convince lawmakers to discourage Trump’s visit to the Philippines, Senate President Koko Pimentel III, replied: “Please direct questions to Sen. Trillanes since I am abroad trying my best to develop, enhance and strengthen Philippine relations with various countries (Russia and Great Britain).”
“I hope no one else is wishing, or worse, working for “bad” relations between the Philippines and other countries like the U.S. and E.U. members. If we love our country we should always promote our beloved country’s best interest,” he said.