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Bisto ka na, ‘wag ka na mag-deny! Trillanes stands by claim Sara Duterte running for president

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by Xave Gregorio

Senator Antonio Trillanes IV is standing by his claim that Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte would be running for president as a last-ditch effort for President Rodrigo Duterte to cling to power.

“Alam niyo kasi, mag-deny man sila o hindi, pero maniwala kayo, doon at doon ang tuloy niyan,” Trillanes said Wednesday (June 13) in an interview with Senate reporters.

“They can deny it all they want, parang si [President] Duterte lang ‘yan, kung ano-anong drama na hindi raw siya tatakbo, maraming naloko doon,” he said.

Trillanes was responding to the younger Duterte’s Facebook post telling him to “leave [her] alone.”

“Leave me in peace in Davao City or else you and your friends will spend more than a billion in the 2022 Presidential elections just to make me insignificant,” she said.

Mayor Duterte added that her “slot will be available for a yellow Senator for the 2019 elections” if Trillanes does not bother her any further.

However, there is no outright denial of Trillanes’ claim that she would be running for senator and then for president in a bid to retain President Duterte’s power.

But the opposition senator said he is only being used by Sara as an excuse for her to run for higher office.

“Parang ‘yung ginawa ni Duterte nung [2016] kaya daw siya tumakbo dahil kay Senator Grace Poe, diba ang laking kalokohan? Pero samantalang nakalatag na nun, tatakbo talaga,” Trillanes said.

He was referring to the President finally announcing his intention to run as chief executive after the Senate Electoral Tribunal ruled that Poe is a natural-born Filipino.

“Basang-basa eh. ‘Yung mga ganyang istilo ay mababasa mo,” Trillanes said.

At a Tindig Pilipinas event yesterday, Trillanes said Sara running for president would be the last option for President Duterte to supposedly cling to power and escape accountability for the killings and corruption, as he is more likely to declare martial law or stay in power using the transitory provisions in the proposed new constitution.

In response, Sara threatened Trillanes that she would “make sure [he is] alive and in pain.”

The usually feisty opposition senator, however, refused to respond to this.

“Hindi ko na lang siguro papatulan ‘yan ano. I don’t have the time for that,” Trillanes said. “Basta sa akin, sinabi ko ‘yung kailangan kong sabihin. Magalit hindi magalit, magdrama hindi magdrama, wala, wala.”

Sara, who has been ranking in the “Magic 12” in senatorial preference surveys, was previously reported to be planning to run for a seat in the House of Representatives, but has dropped this bid in January.

However, she joked last week that she could run for vice president and said she is open to run for any elective position.

President Duterte has previously quipped that his daughter would be best fit to replace him at the highest post in the government, but soon retracted this, saying that Sara is not interested to run for president despite her numerous public appearances outside of her city.