Jude Josue Sabio .
IN his recent public statements on television news, former senator Antonio Trillanes asserted that the so-called “Totoong Narcolists” did not pass his vetting process. His television statement is just a repeat of what he had earlier stated when he delivered his privilege speech in the Senate after Peter Joemel Advincula alias Bikoy publicly made a turnaround.
When Advincula publicly turned around, I was terrified by the thought that he was the man whom I would have accompanied to the Ombudsman. Later, when I watched and listened to the then senator Trillanes’ privilege speech, I was perplexed as to why he had earlier attempted to recruit me as a lawyer for those narcolists that did not pass vetting.
By way of a blessing in disguise, that stupid question about whether or not my lawyer’s license was updated abruptly and prematurely stalled the recruitment. It did not anymore come to the point that I would have pressed for credible proof about the narcolists as a condition for me to be Advincula’s lawyer.
Had it not been for such stupid and ignorant question, Trillanes and I would have gone to the next level of discussion. I would have asked him about the veracity of the narcolists which are purported to be true in the narco videos.
Since at that time Advincula had not yet turned around, Trillanes would have expectedly told me, with a poker face, that the narcolists had passed vetting. Expectedly, he would have made such an assertion, because he was trying to recruit me as a lawyer.
Common sense dictates that Trillanes would not have told me that the narcolists are not true because that would have been contrary to what is claimed in the videos that they are true, and that would surely have turned me away.
Since the man who was then recruiting me was a senator with his vaunted track record with whistleblowers, I would have been put into a tight situation where my tendency would have been to rely merely on his word that the narcolists had passed the test.
This is precisely where the danger lies because there was always the remote possibility that I could have been convinced by the weight of Trillanes’ influence on me especially considering that he was giving me a monthly amount which he calls “tulong.”
He stated in our Novotel meeting that his recruitment of me for Bikoy was “kahit papaano dagdag na tulong sana” which I find to be all the more insulting to me and the whole legal profession.
His subsequent statement, after Advincula had made a turnaround, that he did not pass his vetting easily contradicts the ex-senator’s attempt to recruit me. The reason for this precisely is that he would not have said such a statement when he was recruiting me.
In the normal scheme of things where good faith is presumed, he would not have recruited me if, as he said later, the narcolists failed in the vetting process.
Trillanes’ statement about the vetting failure was belatedly made as a mere afterthought to lamely refute Advincula’s subsequent statement that the former senator was directly involved in the caper.
By contrast, Advincula’s statement about Trillanes’ direct involvement assumes a high degree of credibility when it is linked to the former senator’s effort to recruit me.
If Trillanes’ recent statement about the vetting failure is to be believed, then why did he earlier recruit me as a lawyer in the first place?
If the narcolists failed the vetting process, then why was I recruited by the senator to be the lawyer to bring the narcolists to the Ombudsman?
If – and that’s a big if – by chance I accepted the offer and went to the Ombudsman, obviously I would just have been fooled because Trillanes knew that the narcolists had failed his vetting, but just the same, he still went on to recruit me and hid that fact from me just so that he would be able to recruit me.
For what? For black propaganda? To create a huge media event at the Ombudsman in which media would scream to the whole world that the lawyer who filed the complaint with the ICC against President Duterte accompanied Advincula to the Ombudsman!
Indeed, that would have been a spectacular event like Hollywood. It would have also lent a heavy air of legal gravitas to the narcolists, as surely I would have gone the rounds in media in support of the cause celebre.
Recruiting me to be a lawyer and later telling the public, under that all-too familiar poker face, that there was a vetting failure is a supreme act of deceit and dishonesty on the part of Trillanes.
It was a dastardly act of betrayal of me, committed to exploit me as a lawyer in a desperate bid to enable him and his LP-led opposition to achieve their criminal intent to destabilize and ultimately to overthrow the Duterte administration.
After much thought and reflection, I have come to the full realization that when Trillanes recruited me as a lawyer culminating in that Novotel meeting on April 29, 2019, he undoubtedly made a tragic turnaround against me.