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All eyes on Trillanes

Kristina Maralit



A handout photo from the Philippine National Police show a mugshot of former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV being taken at Makati police headquarters in Manila. AFP

The Philippine National Police (PNP) is now getting ready to serve the arrest warrants issued by a Quezon City court against former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV and several others over the conspiracy to commit sedition filed by the Department of Justice.

According to PBGen. Bernard Banac, PNP spokesman, the police is only awaiting receipt of the document issued by the QC Metropolitan Trial Court Branch 138 before the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group and Quezon City Police District take the appropriate action.

“On orders of the Metropolitan Trial Court Branch 138 of Quezon City, the PNP is duty-bound to effect the arrest of all persons named in the warrant of arrest and ensure their security while under our custody,” Banac said in an interview late Friday afternoon.

“This is already being reviewed and the PNP is now tracking their whereabouts,” he added.

Trillanes, one of President Rodrigo Duterte’s most vocal critics, and his co-accused, Peter Joemel Advincula alias “Bikoy,” Father Flaviano Villanueva, Father Albert Alejo, Yoly Ong-Villanueva, Boom Enriquez, Jonnell Sanggalang, JM Saracho, Eduardo Acierto, Vicente Romano, and a certain “Monique,” were slapped with sedition charges over their supposed involvement in the “Ang Totoong Narcolist” series of videos released prior to the May 2019 midterm polls.

Said videos accused the Chief Executive, his family members, and a few others within his close circle, including then Special Assistant to the President turned lawmaker, Sen. Bong Go, of operating bigtime syndicates involved in the illegal drugs trade.

Alejo and Villanueva each already posted P10,000 for their temporarily freedom while Advincula, according to his lawyer, Larry Gadon, will be posting bail next week.

They will no longer be included in the arrests to be effected by the PNP, Banac said.

The official also clarified that there is no need, at the moment, to tap the help of the International Police Organization (Interpol) in implementing the arrest on Trillanes as he is not yet considered a fugitive of the law.

The former senator, in an earlier released statement, said he is currently out of the country and will post bail once he gets back to the country next week.

He also reiterated his resolve to deal head on the sedition case against him just as he has faced “all the other harassment cases” Mr. Duterte’s allies, which he tagged as “minions,” have filed against him in the past.

“There is a prescription period (of 30 days). But once a person wanted by law can no longer be found after due diligence and is found out to be hiding abroad, that’s when we’ll notify our counterparts in the Interpol,” Banac noted.

This was not the first time Trillanes was ordered arrested under the Duterte administration.

To recall, it was September 2018 when he was ordered arrested over rebellion charges after the President issued Proclamation 527 that voided the amnesty former President Benigno Aquino III granted him in connection with his involvement in two failed coup d’etat attempts in 2003 and 2007.

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