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Duterte tags Trillanes’ mom, Napoles in military helmet deal

MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte has tagged the mother of his critic, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, in the supposedly anomalous purchase of P3.8-million Kevlar helmets for the military, a deal that reportedly involved alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles.
Duterte claimed Trillanes had tried to make it appear that his administration was meddling in the acquisition of Navy ships while his parents were the ones involved in graft and corruption at the Philippine Military Academy (PMA).

“The number one in graft and corruption in PMA is his father, even his mother,” Duterte said during the oath taking of local officials in Davao City last Friday.

“Remember Kevlar? It’s a hard helmet that a bullet cannot fully penetrate. That’s Kevlar. The ones who delivered them were the mother of Trillanes and Napoles. That’s true,” he added.

Duterte, however, did not present any proof to support his claim.

Trillanes, for his part, accused Duterte of rehashing the allegations against his parents to cover up for his indecisiveness in dealing with the Recto Bank incident.

“Because Duterte is speechless over the Recto Bank issue, my mother is now being targeted again. He’s just diverting the issue,” Trillanes said in Filipino.

The outgoing senator called Duterte a “liar” for claiming his mother had something to do with the supply of substandard Kevlar helmets, which he said was one of the issues he raised during the failed mutiny.

“According to Duterte, various government agencies have investigated my mother for over a year, but they were unable to come up with a single document linking her to any kind of illegal transaction,” Trillanes said.

In 2001, Napoles, her husband Jaime and 16 others were charged with graft and malversation of public funds in relation to the alleged anomalous purchase of 500 Kevlar helmets worth P3.8 million.

The purchase orders and requisition and issue orders for the helmets were reportedly split into lesser amounts to skirt the requirement to have them approved by higher authorities.

The case against Jaime was dismissed in 2002 due to lack of probable cause. Napoles was also cleared of the charges in 2010.
Napoles has also been accused of diverting more than P10 billion worth of congressional funds or pork barrel to fake non-government organizations and non-existent projects.

She has denied the allegations and maintained that all of her earnings came from lawful income sources.

It was not the first time Duterte has accused Trillanes’ mother Estelita of corruption.

The President previously claimed Estelita was a supplier for the Philippine Navy while the senator was a Navy officer. – With Paolo Romero

Duterte tags Trillanes’ mom, Napoles in military helmet deal Duterte tags Trillanes’ mom, Napoles in military helmet deal Reviewed by AsianPolicy.Press on 7:49:00 AM Rating: 5

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