The great escape: Trillanes flies to US for breakfast with Obama, American politikos

Senator Antonio Trillanes IV was having the time of his life in the United States on the week he became a hot news item in connection with a libel case for which he is wanted and his role in Congress’ failure to pass the bill increasing government workers’ pay.

Photos uploaded by Magdalo party-list Rep. Francisco Ashley Acedillo showed them and another colleague, former soldier and now Rep. Gary Alejano, in Washington, DC to attend the 64th National Prayer Breakfast on Feb. 4.

The prayer breakfast, which took place at the Hilton’s International Ballroom, was attended by top US politikos such as President Barack Obama, Senator John McCain and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Other notable personalities who were at the high-profile event was Italian classical singer Andrea Bocelli, and TV producer Mark Burnett.

In his Facebook photo album, Acedillo thanked certain Todd Hendricks, Van Vuong and Wilfred Job for bringing him, Trillanes and Alejano to the event.

He said it was the second time he and his fellow Magdalo lawmakers were able to attend the prayer breakfast.

“So thankful to God for being given the chance to attend the US #NationalPrayerBreakfast for the second time in a row (and Pres. Barack Obama’s 8th and last) and blessed to have made friends across oceans in the process.

“Before Obama’s keynote address, was delighted to hear the beautiful rags-to-riches life testimony of TV producer Mark Burnett and his wife. It was a splendid morning filled with prayer and inspiringly opened and closed with the elevating power of Andrea Bocelli’s voice.

“God bless you my friends – Todd Hendricks, Van Vuong and Wilfred Job – for making all of these possible. Oh, and I love the ring side seats you gave Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, Cong. Gary Alejano and me for this event!” he said.

On Feb. 1, a Makati court issued an arrest warrant against Trillanes in connection with the libel case filed against him by former Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay.

The senator’s office, however, said he was on an official trip to attend an international forum but will readily face the charges against him when he arrives back in the Philippines.

Two days later, on Feb. 3, Congress adjourned without passing the proposed Salary Standardization Law IV (SSL IV) which would have raised the monthly pay of all government workers in the next four years.

The legislative’s failure to approve the measure was blamed on the deadlock between the Senate and House of Representatives’ contingents to reach a compromise regarding a provision for the increase in pension of retired uniformed personnel.

Trillanes, a member of the bicameral conference committee, had vigorously pushed for the inclusion of the aforementioned provision in the reconciled version of the bill despite House members’ insistence that there was no budget allotted for it this year.

Congressional leaders are now urging President Benigno Aquino III to issue an executive order to implement a one-time salary hike for state workers since chances have become unlikely that the legislative would pass the SSL IV bill even if sessions resume again on May 23.

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