Trillanes files plunder complaint vs. Gordon over Red Cross funds

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 8) — Senator Antonio Trillanes IV has filed several criminal and administrative charges against his fellow senator, Richard Gordon.

Trillanes on Wednesday filed a complaint before the Ombudsman, with charges of plunder, culpable violation of the Constitution, violations of the code of conduct and ethical standards for government officials, and malversation of public funds against Gordon.

He said Gordon had diverted public funds to humanitarian organization Philippine Red Cross (PRC). Trillanes said Gordon used the PRC, of which he is the chair of the Board of Governors, for his personal interest.

"Napag-alaman natin in several instances na siya lang mismo ang nagde-decide nito without the concurrence of other members of the Board of Governors," Trillanes said.

[Translation: We discovered several instances where Gordon decides by himself without the concurrence of other members of the Board of Governors.]

In a 24-page document, Trillanes said Gordon allocated P193 million from his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) to Red Cross from 2004 to 2011, with some funds coursed through the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

He added another P200 million was allocated from Gordon's PDAF to Red Cross with the help of former Red Cross Secretary General Gwendolyn Pang. Pang is also facing charges.

Trillanes said Gordon also used the funds of Red Cross to fund his presidential candidacy in 2010 and his senatorial run in 2013.

Gordon on Tuesday slammed Trillanes' remarks, calling his accusations mere "lies" and a "figment of his imagination."

"I will never think of using funds of the Red Cross for personal use. I've been a volunteer there for 50 years, and I have been doing nothing but improving the life of our people…This is another case of fake news against the reality of humanitarian work," Gordon said.

Trillanes said he was also looking into alleged anomalies involving a fire sale of some properties of the Red Cross and in the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority. Gordon chaired the sprawling former US naval base-turned-freeport zone from 1992 to 1998.

In September, Trillanes filed an ethics complaint against Gordon over alleged unparliamentary acts, language, and conduct during the Senate hearing on the smuggling of P6.4 billion shabu into the country.

Gordon was the first to file an ethics complaint against Trillanes.

READ: Trillanes files ethics complaint against Gordon

CNN Philippines Senior Correspondent Cecille Lardizabal contributed to this report.

This is a developing story.