Trillanes: Duterte's dinner invite for Robredo a 'trap'

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 26) - President Rodrigo Duterte is setting up a 'trap to disarm and politically neutralize' Vice President Leni Robredo with his dinner invite, according to Senator Antonio Trillanes.

Trillanes, a strong critic of Duterte and his administration, claimed in a statement Sunday that the President is using Robredo to pacify what Trillanes called 'the biggest political storm' of his six-year term.

"VP Leni wasn't even given the latitude to appoint her own people within her department. Then when it was politically convenient, Duterte unceremoniously kicked her out of the cabinet. Now, he's at it again. Only the naive would be fooled," Trillanes said.

President Duterte accused Trillanes of being one of the heads behind his alleged ouster plot, along with Vice President Leni Robredo and detained Senator Leila de Lima.

Read more: Duterte now believes Robredo is not part of ouster plots against him

Trillanes is also a member of the Magdalo party-list, whose House Representative Gary Alejano filed an impeachment complaint against the President because of allegedly having a hand in the widespread extrajudicial killings.

Read more: Timing is everything: Duterte impeachment proponent to lobby Congress colleagues

Trillanes said that although he respects the electoral mandate of the President, he still needs to be held accountable for crimes.

The senator has previously accused Duterte for ordering the killing of radio broadcasters Jun Pala and Fred Sotto, and for amassing more than two billion pesos through corruption.

Duterte has denied the allegations of unexplained wealth, telling Trillanes that he will step down from the Presidency should Trillanes come up with proof of even half the amount he mentioned.

However, former Davao policeman SPO3 Arturo Lascañas and self-confessed hitman Edgar Matobato both pointed at Duterte for being behind the killing of Jun Pala, in two separate Senate inquiries.

Read more: Lascañas says he killed more than 200; tags Duterte in death squad

"Mr. Duterte, you have to answer for your crimes because you are not above the law," Trillanes said.