MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte linked the mother of Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV and pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles to the purchase of substandard Kevlar helmets for soldiers in 1998.
Duterte said Trillanes’ mother, Estelita, supplied the transactions with the Philippine Navy when Trillanes and his father were still in the military service.
“Ang number one na graft and corruption dyan noon sa Philippine Military Academy ang tatay niya pati ‘yung nanay niya. Remember ‘yung Kevlar? It’s a helmet na matigas, ang bala hindi masyado maka-penetrate. That’s Kevlar,” Duterte said.
“Ang nag-deliver noon ang nanay ni Trillanes pati si Napoles. ‘Yan ang totoo dyan. Kaya ni-review siya,” he added.
Trillanes once again denied the allegations of Duterte and has instead challenged him regarding the Reed Bank incident where a Chinese vessel allegedly rammed a Philippine fishing boat.
“Wagas talaga siya magsinungaling kasi sa katunayan, ang mga substandard na Kevlar helmets na ‘yan ay isa sa mga issues na inireklamo namin nung Oakwood Incident. Kung may kinalaman ang mga magulang ko dyan, dapat nun pa lang, nilabas na ‘yan at ginamit laban sakin,” Trillanes said.
The outgoing senator asked Duterte to show documents that would prove his mother’s links to the Kevlar helmets issue.
“Sabi ni Duterte mahigit isang taon na iniimbestigahan ng iba’t ibang ahensya ng gobyerno pero ni isang dokumento ay wala syang mailabas para maiugnay ang Nanay ko sa kahit na anong iligal na transaksyon,” he said.
The Sandiganbayan Fourth Division earlier acquitted Napoles of the charges for conspiracy with public officials in malversation of public funds through falsification of public documents and violation of the anti-graft law.
But the Supreme Court inquiry later found out that former Sandiganbayan Fourth Division justice Gregory Ong had acted as Napoles’ contact in connection with the Kevlar case while it was still pending in his division./PN