‘Not a flight risk’ – Court denies motion for HDO vs. Trillanes

Marje Pelayo   •   January 15, 2019   •   2052

Senator Antonio Trillanes IV

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The Davao City Regional Trial Court Branch 54 denied the motion of the Department of Justice (DOJ) seeking for the issuance of a hold departure order (HDO) against Senator Antonio Trillanes IV.

In an order released to media on Tuesday (January 15), Presiding Judge Melinda Alconcel-Dayanghirang ruled that Trillanes is not a flight risk.

“To the Court’s mind, the immediate voluntary surrender of the accused to the court upon his knowledge from media accounts of the warrants of arrest issued against him indicates that the risk of his flight or escape from this jurisdiction are highly unlikely,” Dayanghirang said in the five-page decision.

“His voluntary surrender and placing himself under the jurisdiction of the court is a demonstration of his utter respect for the legal processes of this country,” he added.

The decision was in relation to the four counts of libel filed against Trillanes by former Davao City vice mayor and presidential son, Paulo Duterte and Mayor Sarah’s husband, Atty. Mans Carpio after the senator accused the two of extortion with ride-sharing firm Uber and other private companies.

For the first time since he was declared ‘persona non grata’ in Davao City in February 2018, Trillanes stepped foot on its soil to attend his arraignment.

Trillanes maintained he will not run away from the charges. In fact, he traveled to Davao to show up in court. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Mai Bermudez)

Trillanes, 3 others face kidnapping case

Robie de Guzman   •   August 30, 2019

Former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) has filed a kidnapping with serious illegal detention charges against former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV and three others before the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Based on a copy of a complaint filed August 15, the complaint stemmed from the affidavit of Guillermina Lalic Barrido, a 43-year old businesswoman from Davao City.

Barrido claimed she was detained for nearly two weeks in two convents in Makati and Quezon City in December 2016, and forced to sign a document linking President Rodrigo Duterte to corruption and illegal drugs.

In 2017, Barrido accused Trillanes of trying to bribe her to make derogatory statements against Duterte.

The PNP-CIDG said in its complaint that “It is clear from the foregoing that herein respondents feloniously, maliciously and intentionally put the complainant under detention for 14 days in order to force her to do something against her will.”

Aside from Trillanes, also named as respondents to the complaint were lawyer Jude Sabio, a certain Sister Ling, and priest Albert Alejo.

It can be recalled that Sabio was the one who filed a communication with the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Duterte campaign against illegal drugs.

In a statement, Trillanes denied Barrido’s allegation, insisting that he does not know the complainant.

“Never ko na-meet ‘yan si Guillerma Arcillas or Barrido. San ka makakita na pari at madre daw ang kasama ko sa pagkidnap at sa kumbento pa daw sya dinetain?” he said.

“Bukod pa dyan, 2016 pa raw sya kinidnap pero ngayon lang nag-file ng kaso,” he added.

Trillanes, a staunch critic of the Duterte administration, said that based on the information he received, Barrido allegedly volunteered to testify against Duterte in exchange for money.

“Ang impormasyon ko d’yan ay isa siyang nagboluntaryong mag-testigo laban daw kay Duterte pero butas-butas ang kwento at nanghihingi diumano ng pera kapalit ng kanyang salaysay kaya hindi tinanggap bilang testigo. Tapos ng hindi nabigyan ng pera, bumaliktad,” he said.

The former lawmaker also called the kidnapping charge against him as “clear harassment” and “persecution” against the administration’s critics.

Sabio, Alejo and “Sister Ling” have yet to issue any statement on the issue as of posting. RRD (with details from Correspondent April Cenedoza)

Outgoing senators reveal plans after Senate

Marje Pelayo   •   May 22, 2019

Upper row: (L-R ) Senators Antonio Trillanes IV, Bam Aquino, Francis Escudero Lower row: (L-R) Senators Gringo Honasan, Joseph Victor Ejercito, Loren Legarda

MANILA, Philippines – Six senators of the 17th Congress are soon to leave the Senate.

Senators Francis Escudero, Gringo Honasan, Loren Legarda and Antonio Trillanes IV have until June 30 to serve their last term.

Senators Bam Aquino and Joseph Victor Ejercito, meanwhile, needed to leave following their defeat in the 2019 midterm polls.

Escudero may be leaving the Senate but he remains in public office after winning as governor of Sorsogon.

Legarda, likewise, is shifting to local governance after being proclaimed as the new representative of Antique.

For his part, Honasan said he is still hoping for President Rodrigo Duterte’s appointment of him as head of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).

“It’s up in the air. That will be decided after June 30 by the appointing authority,” Honasan said.

Meanwhile, Senators Aquino and Ejercito said that their next plan to enjoy their private lives with their respective families.

“Ngayon ang ating destiny ay maiba hindi man magpatuloy dito. I guess na mahalaga right now just to take steps back. Spend more time with your kids and try to determine how to help the country in other ways,” Aquino said.

“Maraming paraan para tumulong sa ating bayan,” he added.

“Tulungan ko muna ang wife ko sa mga businesses naming,” Ejercito said when asked about his plans following his exit from Senate.

He admitted, however, that he regretted the outcome of running against his brother Jinggoy Estrada.

“Ang regrets ko…ang pinakamabigat kong problema yung dalawa kaming magkapatid na tumakbo,” Ejercito said.

“Sana kinausap ko na lang. Nag-usap kami ng father ko, ng pamilya na nasabi ko na sana ang aking concern. Ilang beses ko sinabi na ito ang mangyayari na pwede kaming mahila lahat pababa. Exactly ito  na nga ang nangyari,” he added.

Trillanes, meanwhile, said he is thinking of going back to school.

The controversial senator earlier said he will remain critical of the Duterte administration even outside of Senate. — Marje Pelayo (with reports from Nel Maribojoc)

NBI to validate identity of man claiming to be ‘Bikoy’

Robie de Guzman   •   May 7, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Tuesday said it is now taking measures to validate the identity of Peter Joemel Advincula, the man who claims to be ‘Bikoy’ in the video series entitled “Ang Totoong Narco List” uploaded online.

NBI cybercrime division chief Vic Lorenzo said they have started investigating Advincula’s records to ascertain his identity based on evidence.

Lorenzo said their initial investigation have shown that Advincula has been involved in several criminal cases but there was no record linking him to illegal drugs.

“Vineverify na namin ‘yung nagpakilalang Bikoy. Peter Advincula nga. May mga nakikita kaming records sa kanya, criminal records sa kanya. Walang drugs kaming nakita doon sa records niya,” Lorenzo said.

Advincula surfaced at the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) on Monday to seek legal assistance to sue presidential son Paolo Duterte, former Special Assistant to the President Bong Go, and lawyer Manases Carpio, the husband of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.

He said the death threats he was receiving pushed him to go public.

READ: Man claiming to be ‘Bikoy’ asks help from IBP

In a statement he read before the press on Monday, he admitted to being jailed in 2012 for six years for estafa after VitaPlus, the company he formerly worked for as marketing executive, allegedly made him sign some documents. He was released in 2016 for “good behavior.”

Lorenzo said that aside from estafa, Advincula was also charged for swindling and large-scale recruitment, which makes his drug claims against the Duterte family and their allies highly doubtful.

“Highly questionable ‘yung integrity niya kasi when you are lying all your life and scamming all your life, walang credibility on your allegations e,” Lorenzo said.

The NBI official also expressed skepticism on Advincula’s claim that he used to personally scan Go and Duterte’s alleged back tattoos of a dragon-like figure and alphanumeric codes of their supposed bank accounts for their drug dealings.

“May mga sinasabi siya ‘yung mga bar codes ng tattoo na supposedly sa mga personalities, inii-scan nila ‘yun. Ang question is can you really imprint a bar code or QR code to someone’s skin? Napakahirap yata nun,” Lorenzo said. 

Go and Duterte had repeatedly refuted the allegations. Go even bared his back for the second time on Monday to deny the claims.

READ: Bong Go bares his back to deny alleged link to drug syndicate

READ: Paolo Duterte denies receiving kickbacks from drug syndicates

The NBI earlier said it is planning to summon Advincula for questioning and to shed light on some issues, particularly on his identity and the drug claims he made against the Duterte family members.

READ: NBI to summon man claiming to be ‘Bikoy’

Lorenzo also said that they are now investigating several persons of interest in the ‘Bikoy’ narco videos based on the forensic examination they conducted on the electronic gadgets obtained from Rodel Jayme. (with details from April Cenedoza)

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