MANILA, Philippines – In the past year, several cases and complaints have been lodged against opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes IV – one of President Rodrigo Duterte's harshest critics.
Trillanes was in the limelight again this week after his amnesty was revoked through Presidential Proclamation No 572, on the grounds that it was "void from the start" because he did not comply with the "minimum requirements to qualify under the amnesty proclamation."
The presidential proclamation led to the justice department filing motions for arrest warrant, Trillanes holing up in the Senate, and the executive leaving it to the Supreme Court to determine the fate of the amnesty revocation.
Lawmakers have decried the move, calling it a clear case of political persecution.
Trillanes is under threat of arrest and may become the second opposition senator to be detained under the Duterte administration, after Senator Leila de Lima, another fierce critic of the President.
Below is a list of the cases and complaints that have been filed against Trillanes under the Duterte administration. In a nutshell, all were filed by Duterte-allied lawyers and the President's family members:
November 16, 2017: Sedition, proposal to commit coup d'etat, graft
A group of lawyers allied with the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) filed a sedition complaint against Trillanes at the Pasay City Prosecutor's Office, citing the senator's remarks in an October 2017 privilege speech.
Duterte had challenged anyone to shoot or overthrow him if they can find more than P40 million in his bank account. The opposition senator then accused the President of having P2 billion worth of transactions in his bank account.
Reacting to Duterte's challenge, Trillanes said that soldiers can use M60 machine guns on the President, because the bank transactions exceed P40 million.
Lawyers Glenn Chong, Jacinto Paras, and Manny Luna of the Duterte-allied VACC said that Trillanes violated Article 142 of the Revised Penal Code, or inciting to sedition, for "inflicting any act of hate or revenge" on Duterte.
The same speech led the lawyers to conclude that Trillanes allegedly proposed to commit coup d'etat, when he made the "M60 machine guns" remark.
The lawyers also claimed that Trillanes' repeated accusations on Duterte's hidden wealth "caused undue injury to President Duterte, including the government," making him liable for graft.
In March, the Pasay City Prosecutor's Office filed charges of inciting to sedition against Trillanes, saying that the senator's intention was clearly "to sow the seeds of sedition in the mind of the people."
However, the proposal to commit coup d'etat "cannot prosper," as Trillanes' acts then "did not show he was pushing other people to seize power or overthrow the government."
December 27, 2017: Civil case
Duterte's eldest son and son-in-law filed a civil case against Trillanes for involving them in the P6.4-billion illegal shabu shipment from China.
Presidential son and then-Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte and his brother-in-law Manases Carpio filed the case before Davao's Office of the Clerk of Court on December 27, 2017.
Trillanes had asked the Senate blue ribbon committee to invite Duterte and Carpio to its probe into the illegal shabu shipment from China, after they were first implicated by Customs fixer Mark Taguba. Taguba later recanted his statement.
Trillanes had also accused the younger Duterte and Carpio of having over a hundred million pesos in each of their bank accounts.
June 6, 2018: Grave threat complaint
Paras, who is now a labor undersecretary, filed another complaint against Trillanes at the Pasay City Prosecutor's Office.
Trillanes denied that he threatened Paras, and said the labor undersecretary "had the gall" to shake his hand after filing a sedition case against him in November 2017.
September 6, 2018: Libel complaints
Paolo Duterte and Manases Carpio once again filed complaints against the embattled senator with the Office of the City Prosecutor in Davao City.
The younger Duterte and Carpio filed separate libel complaints on September 6, citing a radio interview where Trillanes supposedly accused them of "conniving" with Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board Regional Director Ahmed Cuison to demand a "percentage" or money before approving a franchise of ride-hailing firm Uber, back when it was still operating in the Philippines.
Calling it "pure black propaganda," the younger Duterte argued Trillanes only wanted to "malign him" because he is the son of the President. – Rappler.com
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