MANILA (UPDATE) - Former Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte is seeking the cancellation of the bail granted to opposition Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV.
Davao Senior Assistant City Prosecutor Joseph Mamburam, in a manifestation and motion filed on Jan. 10, said he was adopting the motion Duterte filed in connection with the libel cases the senator is facing.
In his motion, Duterte claimed Trillanes was “evidently guilty of flight” when he left the country on Dec. 11, 2018 without first seeking the permission of the Davao Regional Trial Court.
Trillanes posted bail at a Pasay court on Dec. 10 for the Davao cases and left the country for Europe the next day, a trip the court had allowed. He returned last week.
Duterte argued that having placed himself within the jurisdiction of the court by posting bail, Trillanes was automatically barred from going abroad.
Trillanes, a staunch administration critic, posted a P96,000 bail at a Pasay City court for the libel cases. The court then lifted the warrants of arrest against the lawmaker and issued a certificate of voluntary surrender.
“Having departed for abroad without court permission, accused is guilty of flight. He has stepped out of Philippine jurisdiction, hence, beyond its reach,” Duterte said.
“[A]ccused is deemed to have unilaterally violated his contract of bail. Worse, accused himself has frustrated and repudiated his bail. It is high time that this repudiation be affirmed and formalized by the court, via official cancellation of his bail,” he added.
Speaking at a forum on Thursday, Trillanes argued that Duterte's motion is "totally baseless."
"Nagpaalam ako bago ako umalis so mali na agad ang basis ng motion," the senator said.
(I asked for permission before I left so the motion had a wrong basis.)
"Another basis ng motion, baka tatakas daw ako eh bumalik na nga at nagpa-arraign ako kaya totally baseless,” he added.
(Another basis of the motion was that I might escape, but I already returned and I was even already arraigned so that is totally baseless.)
As a consequence of cancelling the bail, Duterte urged the court to issue an arrest warrant against the senator.
The same Davao court, however, had denied the Department of Justice’s motion for issuance of a hold departure order against Trillanes, saying the senator was not a "flight risk" in view of his voluntary surrender.
It also noted that Trillanes' trips were planned before Duterte filed libel cases against him.
- with a report from Sherrie Ann Torres, ABS-CBN News