Sonny Trillanes Just Hosted His Own Reddit AMA, and Here’s What He Had to Say
Earlier today, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV hosted his own Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything), which marks the first time that a Filipino senator has used Reddit as a town hall platform. AMAs are threads that work like press conferences on popular online discussion site Reddit, through which anyone can interview a person and, as the name implies, ask them about anything (given a code of reddiquette and some general rules, of course).
Prior to Trillanes, other noteworthy Filipino personalities that have hosted AMAs are Pia Wurtzbach, last year; the creators of Saving Sally, last December, and JC Gurango, the grandson of Primitivo Mijares, last February. Previously, both Barack Obama and Donald Trump, have held their own Reddit AMAs, while they were campaigning.
When the announcement of Trillanes’ AMA was first made two days ago, a lot of people seemed to be worried about it being hijacked by trolls. But surprisingly (and thankfully), it turned out to be a fairly civil engagement between a Filipino politician and his constituents. Here are some of the highlights:
Q: Dear Senator, let me be blunt and say that I have always been distrustful of you and your politics. You and Gringo Honasan are representative of what is wrong with our military since the 1980s, which was that it considered itself a fourth branch of government and, when they don't like whoever is in power they bring out the guns to pull off a coup d'etat. In the past few years, this aspect has been decreased and I have often hoped that you and Honasan would be defeated in the elections. However, it has become increasingly clear that the President has Puppetmasters, particularly the Marcoses. What can you say that can convince me (and maybe a few others) that you are the person everyone can rally to as the face of the opposition? —Alced
ST: I hope that after being detained for 7 1/2 years, I have already paid my dues for the past military interventions I have committed. As to your question, I am not expecting people to rally around me, and I am not attempting to be the face of the opposition. I stand by my track record that I have been consistent in my principles and advocacies. So, I am proud to say that I have yet to be seriously linked to any issue of corruption and that I have always stood for what I believe is right.
Q: As a former military officer, do you have any thoughts on the current situation in Marawi? What could have been done better? What are being done right? —merdionesmondragon
ST: As I have shared on our Official Facebook account this month, the following are my proposed solutions to crush the Mautes and other terrorist groups without Martial Law:
1. Sustained military operations Time and again, the AFP has consistently crushed the enemy forces it has faced.
2. Increased intelligence funds of the AFP/PNP Realign Malacanang's P18B Intelligence/Confidential Funds (this includes the P1.4B of Sec. Andanar's PCOO) to augment AFP's P1.6B Intelligence Fund.
3. Intensify intelligence operations Once the Intelligence Funds of AFP/PNP had been augmented, the intensified intelligence operations will effectively pinpoint the exact location of the terrorist cells throughout the country without affecting the way of life and freedom of the Filipinos.
4. Pass the National ID System Bill This will make it difficult for terrorists and lawless elements to go through checkpoints and airports, and to conduct other activities.
5. Provisional Enlisted Personnel Bill This will allow the AFP to recruit 20,000 troops to augment its present force and therefore be more effective in dealing with different national security threats.
6. Vigilance of the civilian populace Everyone should be empowered to participate and contribute to our national security.
Q: Here is my question Senator, During the last admin you and one of your fellow senator, senator Allan Cayetano goes after Ex-Vice President Binay's "corruption". But after the election this corruption issue goes silent. What has happened? Do you still pursue the truth behind his corruption? —LayZboY23
ST: Yes. We have pursued the corruption allegations against VP Binay 'til the very end. And in fact, we have turned over all the evidences gathered during the Senate hearings to the Ombudsman. And now, VP Binay is undergoing trials for two corruption cases at the SandiganBayan and there are few more cases pending at the Office of the Ombudsman.
Q: Good PM Senator!!! I've always liked to know, you were very vocal in your opposition when it comes to Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. What are your thoughts on Gloria Macapagal Arroyo now out and back on the congress floor? ‘Tsaka with Oakwood and your entire career, you have been fighting corruption. From the time you exposed corruption in the military to now, can you say that corruption has lessened or has the situation improved? —KrisBernadetteAquino
ST: I am very disappointed that Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has slowly returned to power. Just a few years ago, she was the poster girl of corruption in the country. But because of his closeness to Duterte, her political fortunes have changed. As regards to the corruption in the military, compared to situation back in 2003, the situation has drastically improved.
Q: With regards to the BPI account expose you did with Duterte, can you at least describe how you got the information? Or rather, what kind of person did you obtain that information from? Is he a hacker? Insider?
ST: Let me just clarify that the documents given to me did not come from BPI. The various account information of Duterte came from an insider of an agency that is authorized to examine bank accounts. I have validated the information that is why I openly challenged Duterte to sign a waiver to prove that I am wrong. And I am willing to resign as Senator and volunteer to enter any prison facility of his choice if I am proven wrong that he does not have 2.4B pesos in credits in his account.
Q: How do you think should we handle the West Philippine Sea issue? —xnikolai
ST: 1. To assert the decision of the Arbitral Tribunal; 2. Strengthen our alliance with US, Japan, Australia, South Korea and the ASEAN; 3. Fast-track the modernization of the AFP; 4. Continue to engage China diplomatically focusing on trade, tourism and OFW rights
Q: Supposing you have a group project for a university assignment, which of your colleagues in the Senate would you want to work with and why? Which ones would you rather avoid? —chizero
ST: I would work with Sen. Grace Poe because she is very smart and masipag at the same time. For your second question, Sen. Nancy Binay :)
Q: Marunong po ba kayo magluto ng adobo? —iloveadobo
ST: Oo naman. I was once assigned as a mess officer aboard ship in the Navy, so I learned a lot of cooking techniques from the cooks there.