Philippine Senator Antonio Trillanes cemented his infamy after his disastrous interview with Stephen Sackur on his BBC program HARDtalk. He became the laughingstock among Netizens for failing to give rational answers to simple questions. It was very obvious that Sackur did his homework in digging up information about Trillanes’s past criminal activities particularly his two failed mutinies against former President Gloria Arroyo. The British presenter did not hesitate to emphasise how Trillanes contradicts himself with his statements against Duterte and his actions in the past.
Sackur managed to expose the truth about Trillanes — that behind the façade, Trillanes does not respect democracy. At one point when asked if he was a democrat, the senator could not comprehend the question and said he was a member of the Nacionalista Party. Trillanes didn’t seem to know what being a democrat means. This made Sackur laugh out loud. Sackur clarified that he was asking if Trillanes believed in democracy. It seems Sackur had to ask that question because Trillanes comes across as someone who cannot respect democratic institutions and democratic exercises like elections. Throughout the interview, Sackur kept reminding Trillanes that Duterte won the election fair and square. The voters overwhelmingly voted for Duterte despite his warning that he will kill those who continue to peddle illegal drugs.
Sackur appeared genuinely baffled as to why Trillanes keeps trying to find ways to remove Duterte from the Presidency even though the majority of the public approves of him and are happy with his performance so far. Sackur also emphasised that the economy is doing well and relations with global powers such as China, Russia and the US are strengthening. But after his failed impeachment bid, Trillanes and his former fellow soldier friend Magdalo Partylist Representative Gary Alejano went straight to the International Criminal Court at The Hague, Netherlands to seek help in prosecuting Duterte.
It’s quite refreshing to watch a foreign correspondent like Sackur grill Trillanes who has been used to bullying his way around. British media is so much better than their American counterpart. They try to understand the situation rather than assume Duterte is evil. Trillanes could not trash talk his way out of the simplest questions from a real journalist. At one point, the word “pathetic” was used to describe him when Sackur reminded him about his failed coup attempts. Local journalists in the Philippines should take note and learn from a professional like Sackur in dealing with scumbag politicians like Trillanes. The only reason politicians like Trillanes get away with stupidity is because the media give them the time of day and don’t ask them the right questions.
Trillanes came across as dense when Sackur pointed out that the cases he filed against Duterte at the ICC don’t have teeth and that the ICC might not even give it their attention. He asked Trillanes if mounting another coup against Duterte is an option since legal avenues have been leading him to dead-ends. Trillanes is still hopeful that the case at the ICC will progress. It’s more of a shot in the dark, really. Trillanes knows this, but he can’t give up. As some people say, he is more of a hired mercenary. It’s not the people who will benefit if Duterte is removed. It’s Trillanes and people who are supporting him to do the dirty job of mounting a case against Duterte. After all, Trillanes has ambitions for the top job himself.
In defending his attempted coup d’état against Arroyo in the past, Trillanes reminded Sackur that Arroyo assumed power through a coup as well. He conveniently did not mention the fact that it was the late former President Cory Aquino who led the ousting of Arroyo’s predecessor former President Erap Estrada through another “people power” revolt. Besides, Arroyo won the election on her second term. Trillanes should have honoured the election results. But honour is obviously not one of his stronger traits.
It was ironic that Trillanes kept emphasising what a dangerous man Duterte is while enjoying the freedom to talk negatively about the President without getting harmed. Trillanes kept accusing Duterte of having minions who use propaganda against him and to fool the public while he himself was issuing negative propaganda against Duterte through the BBC program. Trillanes even gave a dire warning that he believes that the Philippines will eventually fall into a dictatorship next year on his personal assumption that Duterte wants to install a revolutionary government.
Trillanes’s interview with Sackur has made one thing very clear: he is a national embarrassment. There is no hope for him of ever getting elected to a higher office after making a fool of himself. The public has seen his real character and it is not something to be proud of. A lot of people want to see him behind bars. He has already done a lot of damage to Philippine society and should be stopped as soon as possible.