Court orders arrest of Trillanes over 4 libel cases

PAOLO TRILLANESA Davao City regional court on Friday ordered the arrest of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV in connection with the libel cases filed by presidential son Paolo Duterte and presidential son-in-law Manases Carpio.

Regional Trial Court Judge Melinda Alconcel- Dayanghirang issued four warrants of arrest and fixed the bail for Trillanes at PHP24,000 for each case.

The court ordered law enforcement authorities to arrest Trillanes within 10 days after they receive the order, dated December 7.

It was learned that on Thursday, the City Prosecution Office filed a motion asking the court to issue a hold departure order on Trillanes to prevent the senator from leaving the country.

The Prosecution emphasized the need to issue the hold departure order following reports of the senator’s plan to travel abroad.

Paolo filed three libel cases and Carpio pressed one libel charge against Trillanes over the latter’s alleged derogatory statements against them.

Trillanes dragged Paolo and Carpio’s name into the PHP6.4-billion shabu smuggling issue and the Uber franchise application.

Trillanes had alleged on a DYAB Cebu radio interview that Paolo and Carpio connived with a Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board official in Central Visayas in demanding a bribe in return for the approval of an Uber franchise.

Paolo and Carpio have denied both allegations.

The duo also appeared before a Senate inquiry where they strongly denied the senator’s accusations. (Lilian C Mellejor/PNA)


 THE DURIAN BEAT: Trililing on a warpath

trillanes go 3ONE-ON-ONE


Senator Antonio Trillanes is on a shopping spree for issues just so he could get into the limelight.

Think of a publicity-hungry amok firing wild an Armalite so he can land in the headlines.

paolo trillanes


The latest caper of Trillanes is an attempt to revive the now dead issue about former Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte’s alleged involvement in drug smuggling at the Manila seaport. A Senate probe instigated no less than by Trillanes has already cleared the presidential son.
Trillanes then turned his eyes on Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, with his claim that the presidential daughter would be positioned as a presidential candidate in 2022 if President Rodrigo Duterte could not declare martial law at the end of his term.
Being kind-hearted, we will not go into detailing how Paolo and Sara reacted. Suffice it to say that they were unprintable.
Having failed to get notice in his latest blasts against members of the Duterte family, Trillanes has turned to Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, who of late has being earning much media mileage over speculations he would be running for the Senate in 2019.
Although Bong Go denies he has decided on running, his supporters are already sprucing up the landscape with giant Go for Senator  billboards.
Trillanes says Go is playing drama with his denial. In reaction, Bong Go went for the guttural and challenged Trillanes to a physical one-on-one. The senator has yet respond.
Trllanes is capping up his last term and envy could be driving him to nuts over the possibility that SAP Go could be sitting on his seat at the Senate plenary hall after the mid-term elections.
We would not give Trillanes the luxury of attention that media also denied him in his latest blasts against the Duterte siblings and would rather go with the time and ride on the man of the hour in the Duterte administration. And the speculation that SAP Go may take a crack at the Senate in 2019 and why he has the credentials to be a Senator.
SAP Bong and Kazakhstani world boxing champion Golovkin have one thing in common.
Both have GGGs.
Golovkin has Triple G or GGG, for Gennady Gennadyevich Golovkin, his full name, stuck to his boxing gloves.
Bong Go’s GGGs are about today, tomorrow and thereafter.
Bong’s three Gs: G(1) for GO the special assistant of President Rodrigo Duterte; G(2) for GONE as Duterte’s SAP; and G(3) for GOING to become a Senator in 2019.
Golovkin currently holds the unified WBA, WBC, IBF and IBO middleweight championship belts.
If Social Weather Station, Pulse Asia and other social survey firms are world boxing bodies, Bong Go is also a champion, though not in the level of Golovkin’s achievements. While Trillanes has been reduced into an inconsequential dot in the current political landscape, SAP Bong is all over media.
Bong Go has made it to the magic circles of recent surveys of potential senatorial candidates in the Philippine 2019 mid-term elections.
The die is cast for Bong Go’s political future: GO, the Special Assistant to the President would soon be GONE as President Duterte’s trusted man and is GOING to throw his hat into politics and will be a Senator after the votes are counted in the 2019 polls.
Critics make fun of SAP Go’s penchant to shoot himself with dignitaries and VIPs as he tags along with President Duterte in foreign trips.
The “Selfie King” for Senator?
There is more to SAP Go than as a mere adjunct embedded in the Duterte cabinet. Before Malacanang, Bong Go ate governance, day in and day out, 24/7, for more than 20 years as then Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s top aide.
As a Senator, Bong Go can be like fish in the water in dealing with national issues due to his vast experience and exposure, as a mayoral aide for two decades, to local governance, peace and order, criminality, the communist and Moro insurgency and other concerns that bedeviled Davao City and Mindanao.
Add to that his nearly two years as SAP Go to President Duterte and Bong Go already have ample armaments to help run the country as a Senator. Being an action man, Bong Go can never be an armchair legislator.  
Although Bong Go says he still has to decide on running for public office despite the endorsement of his President that he take a crack at Senate in 2019, it should be noted that he is now expanding his exposure to serious national issues. If that is a cue, Senate could not be far away.
Bong Go has also stopped being a “selfie king” to convince his fans that there is more to him than shooting pictures and posing with dignitaries. He no longer needs to do that.
Mainstream media now shoot him not only as SAP Go but also as an important working figure in the Duterte administration, and write stories about his comments and pronouncements on key national issues.
If practice makes perfect, Bong Go is doing just what a future politician should do to fit the job. If we are allowed to go overboard in our assessment, we would say that Bong Go’s body language is now senatorial.
Of late, Bong Go was everywhere.
He reiterated President Duterte’s warning that  government officials should not be tainted even by a “whiff” of corruption or face dismissal.
He warned that  complaints filed against erring government personnel and officials via hotline 8888, a complaint desk under his office, will be acted upon immediately.
On Labor Day, he lauded the signing by President Duterte of an executive order that bans illegal contractualization.
On the same day, May 1, Bong Go vowed to explore and pursue various livelihood and job opportunities to help address the need of Filipinos looking for work.
In a radio interview, Bong Go said the Office of the Special Assistant to the President is always ready to aid and give a helping hand to Filipinos in need of financial support for their health problems.
On insurgency, Bong Go said he sees bright prospects on the development of the peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the New People’s Army (NPA) but urged them to reciprocate President Duterte’s sincerity in the peace negotiations.
SAP Go also vowed to assist the repatriation of Filipino fishermen detained in Indonesia.
As the Kuwait crisis heightened, Bong Go vowed to explore various livelihood and job opportunities for displaced OFWs.
In Hong Kong, Bong Go was given a loud applause by a large crowd  of Overseas Filipino Workers when President Duterte introduced him as a candidate for senator in 2019.
President Duterte cited the growing popularity of Bong Go, who he said is now being referred to as “Senator Go” even before the 2019 mid-term elections.
Without campaigning, he became Senator Bong Go, Duterte jested before the Hong Kong crowd of about 2,500 Pinoy migrant workers.
Duterte said Go’s appearance in a Senate probe on the P15 Billion Navy frigate project propped up his top assistant’s popularity.
The probe stemmed from a report by online news site Rappler that Go “intervened” in the award of the purchase of two Navy ships to a Korean company.
The Rappler story linking a top presidential adjutant to an anomaly, for days made Bong Go a poster boy of corruption in the Duterte administration that proclaims itself as rabidly anti-corruption. Until Bong Go appeared in the Senate to deny that he interfered in the deal.
Denying the Rappler story, Go told the Senators that he could not have meddled in the award because it was already awarded during the Aquino administration.
Duterte said Go came out a “hero” in the probe.
Duterte said he then told Go after his appearance at the Senate where his top aide proved his innocence, that the investigation opened a political opportunity that Go should grab. 
Duterte said he told Go: ‘Bong, this is gonna be your ticket to being senator. I’ve been into politics for so long. Once you harass a person and that person is really very good in the eyes of the public perception, you’re just making him hero.”
Certainly, that piece of advice from his boss could have made impact.
As we said, Bong Go’s body language and how he engages himself in national issues is “senatorial.”



Labor Undersecretary Jacinto Paras on Wednesday filed a complaint of grave threat against Senator Antonio Trillanes before the Pasay City Prosecutors Office for allegedly threatening his life when he attended a Senate hearing last May 29.

In his six-page complaint, Paras cited three elements of grave threat, the first of which is that while attending the Senate hearing, Trillanes allegedly confronted him and told him, “Ang lakas ng loob mo. Hindi magtatagal ang amo mo. Matatapos din yan. Yayariin kita. Mercenaryo ka. Yayariin kita (You have guts. Your boss will not stay for long. It will end. I will finish you. You’re a mercenary. I will finish you).”
Paras said he just smiled and opted not to respond to the threat but the senator came back and told him, “Tatawa-tawa ka pa. May araw ka din. Yayariin kita (You are even laughing. You will have your day. I will finish you).”
He further said that the second element is that Trillanes’ remarks could amount to homicide or murder, depending on the circumstances.
“As to the third element, the threat of respondent, Senator Trillanes, was apparently not subject to a condition,” he added.
Paras also said the threat of Trillanes to finish him or kill him was very serious and resolute as he repeatedly uttered, “Yayariin kita,” several times not only inside the session hall but even at the elevator door.
The complainant cited the senator’s record of major involvement in coups d’etat during the Arroyo administration – the Oakwood Mutiny in July 2003, the Marine standoff in February 2006, and the Manila Peninsula siege in November 2007.
“I have every reason to believe that respondent, Senator Trillanes, was determined with his threat, in view of his past involvement with certain public disruptions. One is the Oakwood mutiny on July 23, 2003. Another is (the) Manila Pen siege on November 29, 2007,” read Paras’ complaint.
“And with respondent, Senator Trillanes’ resources as a senator, and his connections with the military, being a retired Navy officer, his threat against me can be easily realized by him,” he said.
Under the Revised Penal Code, the elements of grave threat are the offender threatens another person of committing harm against him or his family; the threat amounts to a crime; and lastly, the threat is not subject to any condition.
Trillanes already denied threatening and cursing Paras, saying he only told Paras that he has the guts to offer a handshake when he filed a criminal complaint against him.
Paras, former Negros Oriental representative, is one of the complainants who initiated an “inciting to sedition” charge against the Senator.
Last March 14, Pasay City Senior Assistant Prosecutor Joahna Gabatino-Lim approved the filing of the case against Trillanes for violation of inciting to sedition (Article 142, Revised Penal Code or RPC) based on the complaint filed by Paras, lawyers Glenn Chong, Nasser Marohomsalic, Nestor Ifurung, Eligio Mallari and Eduardo Bringas, and Louise Biraogo.
“The charge for conspiracy and proposal to commit coup d’etat cannot prosper. The acts complained of do not show that respondent proposes to other persons the commission of the crime of coup d’etat,” the resolution read.
“The utterances he made may have been suggestive to fall within the scope of inciting to sedition but it is not sufficient to engender a well-founded belief that he directly proposes to others a swift attack accompanied by violence, intimidation, threat, strategy, or stealth against the government,” it added.
Lim said the complaint conspiracy and commit coup d’etat (Article 136, RPC), and graft (Section 3(e), Republic Act No. 3019) against Trillanes has been dismissed for lack of probable cause.
The inciting to sedition case with bail recommended has been raffled to Pasay Metropolitan Trial Court Branch 45.
In their complaint-affidavit, they cited the statements made by Trillanes against Duterte in his privilege speech at the Senate on Oct. 3 last year, that soldiers may shoot the President, as he wishes, if allegations of hidden wealth could be proven.
During his privilege speech, the lawmaker made statements about Duterte’s alleged millions of pesos of ill-gotten wealth.
“Trillanes not only repeatedly uttered seditious words or speeches (Art. 142, RPC) and unabatedly circulated scurrilous libels against the President (Art. 142, RPC), which tend to disturb the public peace, but also repeatedly incited others to inflict any hate or revenge upon his person (Art. 142, in relation to Art. 139 (3), RPC,” read the complaint. (PNA)

PANELO: Trillanes seditious remark vs. Duterte not covered by immunity

panelo salvador

“Parliamentary immunity is not absolute”

Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said the “remarks” of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV against President Rodrigo Duterte are not covered by the lawmaker’s parliamentary immunity.

In his statement posted on Facebook, Panelo said the inciting to sedition charges filed against Trillanes was not based on his criticisms against Duterte, but was based on his call on the military “to violate the person of the President”.


“The claim of Senator Trillanes of parliamentary immunity was found unavailing because his malicious remark could not, by any stretch of imagination, be related to the discharge of his official functions as a legislator,” Panelo said.

While freedom of speech is the hallmark of democracy, Panelo said a “market place of ideas” has inherent limitations.

“(That) even the mantle of parliamentary immunity is not absolute,” he added.

Last week, a Pasay City prosecutor has found probable cause to charge Trillanes with inciting to sedition in connection with his privilege speech on Oct. 3, 2017 at the Senate.

“So here’s the answer now. If the soldiers could see this, they will use the M60 machine gun on you. These are many. The magazines will be emptied if you’re looking for PHP40 million, Mr. Duterte,” Trillanes said as quoted in the complaint.

The complaint also stemmed from Trillanes’ claim that Duterte has PHP2 billion in his bank account, which is “tending to create in the minds of the public a feeling of hatred and disgust towards the President.”

Under the Revised Penal Code, Panelo said a person could commit the crime of inciting to sedition if he provokes others by means of speeches or presentations to the accomplishment of any of the acts which constitute sedition.

“Senator Trillanes incited the soldiers to use a machine gun on the President and roused the people to force the President to do certain acts in order to inflict an act of hate upon the President and disturb peace and order, thereby preventing the government from maintaining the same. Under the law, those acts constitute the crime of inciting to sedition,” he explained.

Panelo added that it is clear that “inciting people to commit sedition against the President or the Government cannot be considered as part of Senator Trillanes’ official functions.”

Panelo also said Trillanes was wrong when he compared his criminal case to the President’s move to withdraw from the Rome Statue, which created the International Criminal Court (ICC).

He said Trillanes is being heard by executive and judicial authorities having jurisdiction over his person while Duterte is being subjected to violations of his constitutional rights to due process and the presumption of innocence by a law (Rome Statute) “which is not even enforceable in this country.” (PNA)