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Paolo, Sara’s husband sue Trillanes

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The eldest son of President Rodrigo Duterte, Paolo Z. Duterte, has filed a libel case against Senator Antonio Trillanes IV before the Regional Trial Court Branch 11 in Davao City.

Paolo, Sara’s husband sue Trillanes
"He just needs probably enough sleep." — Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra to reporters about Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, who has admitted to sleepless nights over President Rodrigo Duterte revoking his amnesty on rebellion charges a decade ago.

Duterte’s brother-in-law, lawyer Manases Carpio, also filed a separate but similar case against Trillanes with the Office of the City Prosecutor in Davao on Thursday.

Both men previously filed a civil case against the senator related to the opposition senator’s accusations of their involvement in the smuggling of P6.4 billion worth of shabu in 2017.

The present complaint says Trillanes maliciously maligned him and the entire Duterte family during a Sept. 8, 2017 radio interview with Leo Lastimosa of DYAB Cebu. Carpio is married to Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.

The former vice mayor also said the senator accused him of corruption and extortion involving Uber and other companies regulated by the Land Transportation and Franchising Board, the Road Board and the Department of Public Works and Highways.

These allegations were false, baseless and unfounded, Duterte said and based on hearsay.

“Respondent’s accusation against my person was intended to malign, destroy and kill my good name and reputation because of my being the son of our President Rodrigo Roa Duterte,” the affidavit reads.

There is also a pending civil case for damages.

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said Friday the President would abide by the rule of law and wait for the court to issue a warrrant of arrest against Trillanes before arresting him.

He said the President called a meeting Thursday night in Jordan to consult members of his Cabinet on his decision to revoke Trillanes’ amnesty and to order his arrest on coup d’etat charges stemming from the 2003 Oakwood Mutiny and the 2007 Manila Peninsula Siege.

“He will allow the judicial process to proceed and he will await the issuance of the appropriate warrant of arrest if indeed there is a warrant to be issued before Senator Trillanes is arrested,” Roque said.

Roque also admitted that the President wanted a civilian court rather than a military court to decide on the issuance on an arrest warrant against Trillanes even it might take a longer time.

“To tell you the truth, I myself felt that we should ask the military court to issue a warrant of arrest, but the President declined. He wants civilian courts. He really abides by the rule of law because as a former prosecutor, he knows the procedures,” Roque said.

“No warrant, no arrest, that’s the rule of law,” he said.

Duterte’s Proclamation 572 declares the amnesty given to Trillanes void from the start because he failed to meet two requirements—an official application for amnesty and an admission of guilt to the crimes charged.

Trillanes has insisted that he met both requirements.

Trillanes has been critical of the President ever since he turned down his request to become his running mate in the 2016 presidential elections.

“If the President is evil, how come he tried to convince the President to be his running mate in the 2016 elections?” Roque said.

Trillanes on Friday said the Armed Forces of the Philippines will no longer blindly follow its commander-in-chief.

“The AFP is a very professional organization. They are no longer blindly following just like in the past. In this case, at least, they abide by the process,” Trillanes told reporters in a media briefing.

The opposition senator was reacting to the statement of the Department of National Defense and the AFP that they respect the judicial process and defer to the decision of the court on the matter of his arrest.

Trillanes also said the AFP no longer had jurisdiction over him as he has resigned from the military.

“I am no longer a member of Armed Forces. They no longer have jurisdiction over me effective 2007. That’s clear based on the processed documents. Now if they are going to abide by the judicial processes, then they should respect this order of their court-martial,” he said.

He pointed out that his case before the court-martial has already been dismissed and the AFP has already issued him a clearance.

Trillanes, who participated in at least two military uprisings during the Arroyo administration, has been staying at the Senate since Duterte voided his amnesty.

He admitted that Thursday night was particularly long for him as there was the possibility that he could have been arrested as he slept at his Senate office.

“I just changed clothes. It was a long night. We really have to be vigilant, we have to be prepared. Adrenaline will keep you awake,” he said.

Trillanes said he has already prepared some personal belongings, including toiletries for his possible arrest.

The Department of Justice on Friday asked another Makati City court that had also handled and dismissed a separate coup d’état charge against opposition Trillanes to order his arrest.

State prosecutors asked Judge Elmo Alameda of Makati City Regional Trial Court, Branch 150, to issue the warrant of arrest and hold departure order against Trillanes, in connection with his involvement in the 2007 Manila Peninsula Hotel siege.

On Tuesday, the DOJ also filed a motion before asking Makati RTC Branch 148 to issue an arrest warrant and HDO against Trillanes, in connection with his role in the 2003 Oakwood mutiny.

Trillanes has filed a petition before the Supreme Court, asking it to issue a temporary restraining order to stop his arrest, and to void the President’s proclamation revoking his amnesty.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra asked the public to refrain from expressing their opinions on the case as it was now pending before the Supreme Court.

“I respectfully ask everyone to please stop commenting on these issues already since it now pending before the Supreme Court. It’s better that we leave it to the Supreme Court to resolve that issue,” Guevarra said, in an ambush interview.

“We will all be cited in contempt of court if we continue to discuss this matter, these legal issues which are already pending before the Supreme Court,” he added.


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