SENATOR Antonio F. Trillanes IV confirmed that he visited the United States and met with senior US officials, including US Senator Marco Rubio, the lawmaker said in a statement.

During the meeting, Mr. Trillanes said that he “presented factual information. Besides, you cannot fool the US government; they know what’s happening in our country.”

For his part, Mr. Rubio said that both lawmakers discussed “the US-Philippines alliance, combating corruption and protecting human rights amid their narcotics crisis,” according to an update he posted on his Twitter account on Wednesday, October 18.

Mr. Trillanes, who was jailed for a failed coup d’ etat in 2007, also clarified that he “did not try to stop the state visit of US President Donald J. Trump” who is set to visit the country in November for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit.

“[T]hese things are carefully planned and cannot be stopped on the mere say so of a Philippine senator,” Mr. Trillanes said.

“Be assured that I pushed for the interests of our country. But let me emphasize that the interests of our country are not necessarily the same as the interest of Mr. Duterte,” Mr. Trillanes added.

For its part, the Palace – through presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella – confirmed Mr. Trillanes’ US trip on Thursday, Oct. 19, citing information they got from Mr. Rubio’s press office.

The Palace expressed “hope that the correct information is given and not biased information designed to adversely affect Philippine-US relations,” Mr. Abella said during a briefing on Thursday. — Arjay L. Balinbin