Paolo Duterte: I seek justice, not revenge on Trillanes

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 17) — Presidential son Paolo Duterte on Saturday denied plans to use a possible seat in Congress to retaliate against his archenemy, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV.

This is contrary to what President Rodrigo Duterte claimed Friday night. The President, in a speech before the Filipino community in Papua New Guinea, said his son wants to get even with Trillanes, who accused him of involvement in the illegal drug trade.

READ: Duterte says his son will run for Congress to retaliate against Trillanes  

But the younger Duterte in a statement on Saturday said, "I honestly do not seek revenge. What I seek is justice. I have filed cases against him and he should man up and face these cases in court."

The former Davao City vice mayor has filed a number of criminal complaints against Trillanes for libel over the senator's accusations against him and the presidential family, including calling them "illegal drug smugglers" in connection with the ₱6.4 billion worth of shabu shipment that slipped into the country in May 2017. Paolo Duterte dismissed Trillanes' claims as "black propaganda" meant to defame him and his father.

Trillanes, a staunch critic of the Dutertes, has said he will face all the charges filed against him as he stood by his claims.

READ: Trillanes ready to go to Davao to answer libel complaints  

Paolo Duterte added on Saturday that Trillanes "will be worse than a non-matter" since his last term in the Senate ends next year.

It was unclear why the President spoke of a face-off in Congress between his son and Trillanes because the senator, who is on his last term at the upper chamber, did not file his candidacy for any position in next year's midterm elections.

"He will end his term as a senator like it is a blessing to the Filipino people, perhaps except for the few who believed in the lies he concocted against me and my family. As he is today, he will be worthless," Paolo Duterte said.

"Apart from that, considering the insignificance and uselessness of Mr. Trillanes, I will devote my time to serve the Dabawenyos," he added. He is running for Davao City First District representative.

Aside from Paolo, Duterte's daughter Sara Duterte-Carpio is seeking re-election as Davao City mayor, while his youngest son Sebastian is a candidate for the city's vice mayor. The siblings' political bids have drawn criticisms that the Dutertes are establishing a political dynasty.

In a speech last month, the President said he was against political dynasties "but we were forced... Usually, pag maumpisahan ng isa, tuluy-tuloy na yan kaso hingiin ng mga tao."

[Translation: I do not want a dynasty, but we were forced... Usually, it continues after one starts and people ask for it.]