Trillanes apologizes after telling Cayetano 'di kita papopormahin'

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Senators Antonio Trillanes IV (L) and Alan Peter Cayetano (middle) in a heated argument during a Senate hearing on extra judicial killings.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV's "Hindi kita papopormahin" [I won't let you make your move]  statement at last week's Senate hearing turned to "my apologies," after a serious argument ensued between him and colleague Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano.

In a letter addressed to Cayetano on Monday, Trillanes expressed regret for his demeanor.

Watch: Argument between Trillanes, Cayetano ensues in EJK hearing in Senate Argument between Trillanes, Cayetano ensues in EJK hearing in Senate

"This is to express my apologies for my demeanor during last Thursday's hearing of the Committee on Justice and Human Rights. It was brought about because of the intense passion and emotion of the moment," Trillanes said in his letter.

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During a Senate hearing on extrajudicial killings on Thursday, Trillanes told Cayetano, "hindi kita papopormahin," [I won't let you make your move]  angering the latter. Cayetano retaliated and said "Senador ako ah… Binoto ako ng taumbayan." [I'm a Senator, voters elected me.]

The argument between the two senators ensued while Cayetano was interpellating Sen. Leila De Lima's witness Edgar Matobato, a self-confessed hitman who allegedly worked for then Mayor Rodrigo Duterte in the Davao death squad.

Trillanes, in his letter, admits "it was uncalled for."  He also assured his colleague "that such incident will not happen again."

Trillanes, however, also filed a resolution urging the Senate Committee on Justice and human rights to conduct an inquiry, in aid of legislation, on the alleged extrajudicial or summary killings purportedly committed by the "Davao death squad."

He intends to come up with "remedial legislation" to uphold basic human rights such as the right to live, and to ensure due process of law as the government pursues its campaign against drugs, crimes, and terrorism.

Apology accepted

In a privilege speech, Cayetano said he understands that what transpired between him and Trillanes was just an offshoot of the spur of the moment.

"None of us here are perfect. I'm not perfect," Cayetano said, apologizing to Trillanes as well.

"If I offended him I am also sorry. If I offended the Filipino people, I am also sorry."

"Thank you Senator Trillanes, that we kept it to words, and we didn't go beyond words," Cayetano added.

But Cayetano didn't end at that point.

"We come to work, knowing that we will have the warm appreciation of our colleagues, whether or not they agree with us. When things like that happen, there are still rules."

He was pertaining to the actions of De Lima, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Justice, calling the Senate Sergeant at Arms was uncalled for.

"I appreciate the sergeant at arms coming to me and saying 'sir, tumayo ako but I wasn't going to accost you.' But he did stand up.  Why? Because chairperson De Lima called for the Sergeant at Arms. And that was uncalled for," Cayetano said.

"There is no gagging in this Senate…  Yet what happened if you review the tapes, in that instance, upon making the judgement that I was out of order, I was denied the right to appeal to the body.  I was denied the right to speak again.  And I was threatened that the Sergeant at Arms will get me, and throw me out," he continued.

Also read: Cayetano doubts, De Lima stands by Matobato's credibility

Cayetano called on the Senate leadership not to allow such actions, especially when the hearing, according to Cayetano, is being used for political or personal motives - in this case, going after President Rodrigo Duterte.

"Mr. President, will we allow to get it to go any further? Let's go to the root cause. The root cause is ginagamit kasi 'yung committee, not for a factual finding of extra judicial killings but to go after the President.  And to in effect wittingly or unwittingly, na sisiraan yung buong bansa," Cayetano said. [The root cause is that the committee is being used… wittingly or unwittingly destroying the image of the country.]

"May I respectfully assert that Senator De Lima in her desire to destroy the President is destroying the integrity and reputation of the Senate. And worse, damaging the image of the country and the people worldwide.

During Cayetano's speech, De Lima walked out of the plenary.

De Lima was soon replaced by Sen. Richard Gordon, who was elected new chairman of Senate Justice Committee.

CNN Philippines' Cecille Lardizabal contributed to this report.