The Department of Justice has asked the courts in Pasay City and Davao to issue hold departure orders against Senator Antonio Trillanes IV who has been charged with inciting to sedition and libel.
The DOJ made the move after Trillanes was able to secure travel permit from the Makati City Regional Trial Court, Branch 150, where he has a pending rebellion case, allowing him travel abroad.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Thursday revealed that prosecutors have filed motions for issuance of an HDO against the arch critic of President Rodrigo Duterte before the Pasay and Davao RTCs where he is facing inciting to sedition and libel cases, respectively.
Trillanes is scheduled to fly to The Netherlands, Spain and United Kingdom from Dec. 11, 2018 to Jan. 12, 2019, and the US from Jan. 27 to Feb. 10, 2019 to meet different groups and attend various activities as part of his official duties.
However, Guevarra said the new motions in Pasay and Davao courts are “coincidental” and were not filed following the decision of Makati RTC branch 150 Judge Elmo Alameda on Nov. 29 that granted Trillanes’ motion to travel in exchange for a P200,000 travel bond.
“It has no connection with that [ruling of Makati RTC]. Those are cases which are independent of the rebellion and coup d’ etat charges in Makati. These are not related at all. 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,” Guevarra said.
“It’s not planned. It just so happens that there are other cases pending against Senator 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.
The Davao RTC handling the libel case filed against Trillanes filed by presidential son and former Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte will hear the DOJ’s motion Friday, he said.
The inciting to sedition case before the Pasay RTC, on the other hand, was filed earlier this year in connection to a privilege speech where Trillanes supposedly suggested that the military might use an M60 machine gun against President Duterte for his alleged hidden wealth.
The rebellion case before Makati RTC branch 150 stemmed from the senator’s role in the 2007 Manila Peninsula siege. A separate coup d’etat case before the Makati RTC Branch 148 was filed against him for leading the Oakwood mutiny in 2003.
Both cases were revived after President voided the amnesty granted to Trillanes by the previous administration through a proclamation issued in September.