Pasay Prosecutor’s Office indicts Sen. Trillanes on inciting to sedition rap

UNTV News   •   February 26, 2019   •   3031

FILE PHOTO: Senator Antonio Trillanes

MANILA, Philippines – Opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes IV is facing another legal challenge after he was indicted for inciting to sedition over a speech where he allegedly urged soldiers to shoot President Rodrigo Duterte.

The Pasay City Prosecutor’s Office found probable cause to charge Trillanes for the remarks he made at the Senate last September 2018 after the President revoked his amnesty grant for his alleged failure to admit guilt and properly follow the procedure.

“After carefully evaluating the evidence on hand, this Office finds the same sufficient to establish the existence of probable cause against herein respondent [Trillanes] for the crime of inciting to sedition,” read the resolution released on Tuesday.

The complaint, filed by Labor Undersecretary Jacinto Paras, Anti-Corruption Commissioner Manuelito Luna, Atty. Nasser Marohomsalic and Atty. Eligio Mallari last February 11, 2018, stemmed from Trillanes’ statement allegedly prodding the military and police to disobey Duterte’s directives.

Complainants claimed that Trillanes issued the statement, “haharapin ko ito… Lalo ako gaganahan [tumira]. ‘Di ako matatakot, ‘di ako aalis.”

In a separate statement, complainants quoted the lawmaker as saying “Duterte will not be there for long, please do not do anything illegal or unconstitutional,” while addressing the military and police.

Trillanes had previously sought for the dismissal of the complaint of inciting to sedition and proposal to commit coup d’etat, arguing that his statements were covered by parliamentary immunity.

He also said that the complainants failed to establish the venue of the alleged offenses, as well as his purported acts that incited the public “to rise publicly or tumultuously for the accomplishment of any of the objects of sedition under Article 142 of the Revised Penal Code.”

But the Pasay City Prosecutors office dismissed Trillanes’ defense because his statements were made to the media and not while the Senate was in session and in connection with the discharge of his official duties as a Senator.

The resolution also noted some of Trillanes’ remarks to media with regard to the voiding of his amnesty such as calling Duterte ‘diktador’ (dictator) which tends to “incite feelings of hatred and distrust toward the President of the Philippines and the government of the Philippines he represented.”

The Pasay Prosecutors, however, dismissed the complaint for proposal to commit coup d’etat as Trillanes’ statements were “obviously intended to remind military and police personnel concerned to act within bounds of the law.”

Trillanes has yet to issue any statement on the issue, as of posting time. – Robie de Guzman

Protest group criticizes DOJ’s ongoing probe on sedition charges against VP Leni, et al

Maris Federez   •   September 6, 2019

A protest group, Tindig Pilipinas, on Friday slammed the ongoing investigation of the Department of Justice (DOJ) on the sedition complaints against Vice President Leni Robredo and other members of the opposition.

Only the lawyers of VP Robredo and of the members of the opposition were present in the DOJ hearing.

The counsels of former senators Antonio Trillanes IV and Bam Aquino, as well as of Senator Risa Hontiveros and of Samira Gutoc, have also filed their own affidavits on the complaint.

They also appealed for the immediate dismissal of the complaint filed by the PNP-CIDG which the agency based on the sworn statement of Peter Joemel Advincula, alias Bikoy, on the alleged Project Sodoma which purportedly aimed at toppling down the Duterte administration.

Meanwhile, the Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) has also filed a countersuit against Advincula and the PNP-CIDG officials.

“We just filed a complaint affidavit for perjury and use of false testimony in an official proceeding against Col. Ibay of the CIDG and Peter Advincula alias Bikoy,” said FLAG’s Atty. Rafael Aquino. (with details from Nel Maribojoc) /mbmf

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)

DOJ directs PNP-CIDG to provide complete address of respondents in sedition complaint

Maris Federez   •   July 24, 2019

The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Wednesday directed the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detention Group (PNP-CIDG) to provide them complete information of those who were made respondents in the sedition complaint before the agency.

This, following the PNP-CIDG’s filing of complaint for sedition before the DOJ against Vice President Leni Robredo, Senators Leila de Lima and Risa Hontiveros, and former Senators Antonio Trillanes IV and Bam Aquino, in relation to the so-called Project Sodoma on Thursday (July 18).

The DOJ Panel of State Prosecutors who was tasked to conduct preliminary investigation on the complaint issued an order directing the PNP-CIDG to provide them with the complete addresses of the said respondents.

The Panel noted that the complaint filed before it does not state respondents’ complete addresses.

It added that the missing information has made it difficult for the Panel to cause service of the subpoena to respondents.

The complaints filed against the respondents were sedition, inciting to sedition, libel, cyber libel, estafa, harboring a criminal and obstruction of justice.

The respondents refuted the complaints with one of them even regarding the charges as “hogwash” and “a piece of trash”.   (with details from Mai Bermudez) /mbmf

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