Martin Dino, President Duterte campaign manager, announced Friday’s filling treason and espionage charges against former President Benigno Aquino III and Senator Antonio Trillanes IV for undertaking ‘back-channel talks’ with China that “only advanced the interest of our Asian neighbour.”
The filing came as Trillanes publicly accused Duterte, the front-runner in the presidential race, of having millions of pesos in undeclared bank accounts.
The complaint said “Senator Trillanes met with the Chinese 16 times, and he requested that the meeting [be] secret. In those meetings, Trillanes made mention that the Philippines cannot enforce coastal protection. And that made the Chinese take an aggressive [stance] and take over our areas like Scarborough Shoal and Spratly Islands. That alone constitutes treason,” former Rep. Ronald Adamat, one of the complainants, said, quoting from supposed notes made by former Philippine Ambassador to China Sonia Brady.
“We include the President because Trillanes could not have done this without the order of the President. They breached international policy. They did it without coursing their efforts through the foreign affairs department,” Adamat added.