Philippine Daily Inquirer
Be careful with that ‘idiot,’ Duterte warns of Trillanes
“BE CAREFUL with that idiot,” leading presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte said on Friday, trashing vice presidential hopeful Antonio Trillanes IV for claiming the Davao City mayor had told him he shot criminals in the head as they knelt before him.
“I don’t know him. I met him only twice,” Duterte told the crowd at his campaign rally in Pandacan, Manila.
Trillanes quickly responded to Duterte’s statement, calling him a liar in the mayor’s own brand of name-calling and trash talk.
‘‘He’s a liar,’’ Trillanes said, warning the mayor not to ‘‘mess with me.’’
In an interview on Radyo INQUIRER 990AM on Thursday, Trillanes said he met with Duterte in April last year to explore the possibility of running with the Davao mayor in this year’s national elections.
The senator said the meeting had been arranged by a common friend and that during their discussion Duterte told him a story about how he dealt with criminals in his city.
“He told me that he made people get down on their knees and shot them in the head, splattering their brain on the ground,” Trillanes said.
Duterte confirmed that he met with Trillanes, and that he told the senator what he thought of him.
“We talked. He wanted to run for President, with me as his Vice President,” Duterte said.
“I told him, ‘ No way, your record is tainted. In the military, you insulted generals,’” he said.
Trillanes was a lieutenant in the Philippine Navy before going into politics, parlaying the popularity he had gained from leading an uprising against President Gloria MacapagalArroyo into victory in the 2007 senatorial election.
“‘You are not deserving,’ I told him. The idiot led a coup d’état, wrecked the hotel, the whole world heard about it, and now he is bragging about it,” he said, referring to the Nov. 29, 2007, occupation of the Manila Peninsula hotel by mutinous junior military officers that the military crushed.
Duterte said Trillanes told the story about the execution of criminals in Davao for publicity.
“He wanted to be in the news, maybe thinking he could win [the vice presidential election] that way,” Duterte said.
With just two weeks to go before the vote, Trillanes is still bringing up the rear in the vice presidential race, with only 5-percent voter support in the latest Social Weather Stations poll.
Duterte taunted Trillanes over the failed junior military officers’ mutiny against Arroyo on July 27, 2003.
“Playing hero. Why didn’t you kill yourself? Why did you surrender?” Duterte said.
He mentioned how Trillanes humiliated former Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Gen. Angelo Reyes during the Senate investigation into alleged corruption in the military in 2011, driving Reyes into despondency and suicide.
“That’s Trillanes,” Duterte said. “Be careful with that idiot.” Trillanes was quick to fire back. ‘‘He’s a liar,’’ Trillanes said in a press statement. ‘‘Had he said that to me, I would have immediately hit him.’’
He added: ‘‘We had a long and friendly talk and he even told me he admired my service to the country. Proof of that is a picture we had after the meeting. Mayor Duterte, don’t mess with me.’’