The Department of Justice (DoJ) petitioned for new hold departure orders (HDO) against Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV “with several courts” despite a recent Makati court order allowing him to travel abroad for two separate periods this month and in January.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said the petitions are not related to the two high-profile rebellion and coup d’état charges that the senator is facing.
Without Guevarra saying it, the HDO should be related to at least three more cases, two for libel with the Davao City courts and one for inciting to sedition before the Pasay City Metropolitan Trial Court.
The Justice chief said he is not sure how many motions for HDO state prosecutors have filed and where but he added one has been set for hearing by a Davao court on Friday.
Makati Judge Elmo Alameda who is handling the rebellion case against Trillanes, which was revived after President Rodrigo Duterte issued Proclamation 572 that revoked the amnesty given by former President Noynoy Aquino, recently allowed the senator to travel to Europe and to the United States for “speaking engagements and various activities.”
Guevarra said it is standard operating procedure (SOP) for prosecutors handling the cases to file HDO motions.
The Davao City court will conduct a hearing on the HDO petition on Friday coinciding with the hearing at Makati RTC Branch 150 on the motion for reconsideration filed by prosecutors.
Trillanes earlier had sought the court’s permission to travel to Europe and to the United States for “speaking engagements and various activities.”
The DoJ Secretary explained prosecutors have the “right and prerogative” to ask courts which have jurisdiction over cases to issue HDOs.
In an interview at the sideline of the 4th Manila International Dialogue on Human Trafficking held at the Philippine International Convention Center, he chided Trillanes for claiming the filing of HDO pleas was a parallel action with the Makati court’s travel approval.
“It’s not really a parallel action in the sense that it’s something planned or something like that. It just so happens that there are other cases pending against Sen. Trillanes, some for inciting to sedition and some for libel. These are pending elsewhere in other RTCs and the prosecution has the right to file a motion for the issuance of an HDO in those courts,” he said.
“No, no it has no connection with that. Those are cases which are independent of the rebellion charges and coup d’état charges in Makati. So, these are not related at all,” he added. “There are different complainants here and they are pending in other courts and, just like in any case where the jurisdiction belongs to the RTC, it is the right of and prerogative of the prosecution to ask for the issuance of an HDO.”