4 warrants over libel

Beleaguered Sen. Antonio Trillanes takes a question during a press briefing. He is now facing a barrage of court cases for his past misdeeds. AFP

DAVAO CITY — The Regional Trial Court Branch 54 issued yesterday four warrants of arrest versus Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV for libel.

Three arrest orders were based on the complaint filed by presidential son and congressional candidate Paolo Z. Duterte.

Another warrant for libel was issued by the same court following the complaint filed by Atty. Manases Carpio, husband of Davao City Mayor Sara Z. Duterte.

The bail bond for each warrant of arrest was set at P24,000 or P96,000 in total.

The four warrants were signed by Presiding Judge Melinda Alconcel-Dayanghirang.

No hold departure order (HDO) accompanied the arrest orders.

In September, Duterte filed a libel case against Trillanes over his allegations of corruption last year wherein the senator claimed Duterte and his brother-in-law Carpio were involved in extorting money from ride-hailing companies.

On the same month, Duterte filed two other libel cases against the senator.

False raps

Dayanghirang said Trillanes, who was declared persona non-grata in Davao City, can deposit the bail at any accredited collector of the Bureau of Internal Revenue, municipal or provincial treasurer.

Paolo, a son of President Duterte, has filed libel cases against Trillanes for linking him to the smuggling of billions of pesos worth of shabu.

The younger Duterte appeared before the Senate and denied Trillanes’ allegations.

A staunch critic of the President, Trillanes is also out on bail for the rebellion charges filed against him in connection with the 2006 Manila Peninsula siege in Makati City.

The senator was also charged with coup d’etat for his role in the July 2003 short-lived mutiny by the Magdalo group at the posh Oakwood Apartments.

DoJ plea junked

Judge Elmo Alameda of the Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 150 also affirmed its earlier decision allowing Trillanes to travel abroad.

On 29 November, Alameda approved the motion filed by Trillanes seeking permission to travel overseas from December 2018 to February 2019 to attend several speaking engagements.

Department of Justice prosecutors opposed the motion, saying the solon is a flight risk considering that he has a string of cases filed in various courts in the country, including in Davao City.

After the Makati court’s final decision allowing Trillanes to travel, he posted a P200,000 travel bond required by the court.

He is set to fly to The Netherlands, Spain and United Kingdom from 11 December 2018 to 12 January 2019 and to the US from 27 January to 10 February 2019 to meet different groups and attend various activities as part of his official duties.

The camp of Trillanes branded as a desperate effort by the DoJ the filing of separate petitions for HDO against him before trial courts in Davao and Pasay.

Matter of procedure

However, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said the filing of the motions for HDO before the court was a matter of procedure in criminal cases.

“A motion for the issuance of an HDO is something that is SOP (standard operating procedure). It has nothing to do with a denial of the motion for HDO in the Makati cases,” he said.

With Mario Mallari and Alvin Murcia


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