MANILA (2nd UPDATE) - Former Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV on Tuesday posted bail for a conspiracy to commit sedition charge for supposedly linking President Rodrigo Duterte and his family to the illegal drug trade.
The Department of Justice had alleged that Trillanes and 10 others were involved in “circulating malicious and scurrilous libels,” “to inflict an act of hate" against Duterte.
The staunch critic of Duterte proceeded to the Quezon City Metropolitan Trial Court upon arrival from the United States to post a P10,000-bail.
“Itong huling kaso na ito ay panibagong proof or patunay dito sa continuing political persecution na ginagawa ng Duterte administration laban sa mga kritiko at political opposition,” Trillanes told reporters as he asserted there was no such conspiracy to bring the Duterte administration down.
("This latest case is another proof of the continuing political persecution by the Duterte administration against his critics and the political opposition.")
Malacañang dismissed Trillanes’ comments as “non-sense.”
“We don’t interfere with cases filed before the courts,” Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said.
Also included in the case is Peter Joemel Advincula, the man who introduced himself as the hooded figure "Bikoy" in the viral "Ang Totoong Narcolist" videos that tagged Duterte's family in the narcotics trade.
Advincula initially claimed he was not paid by the opposition for the videos that circulated on social media at the height of the 2019 electoral campaign.
He later backtracked and linked the Liberal Party and other opposition figures to the viral videos.
Trillanes said he is currently facing 19 cases, which include old ones that were revived under the Duterte administration. But he vowed to deal with the challenges.
"Nakita niyo, galing ako sa ibang bansa. Bumalik ako rito para harapin ito, dahil hindi nga tayo natatakot," said the former Navy officer who led a mutiny during the Arroyo administration due to alleged irregularities in the military establishment at the time.
("You see, I just came from another country. I came home to face this because I'm not afraid.")
"Pero sana lang, itong mga gumagawa nitong mga kasong ito ngayon, itong mga nang-aapi, sana huwag din kayong matakot balang araw ha? Kasi hindi ko rin kayo titigilan."
("I just hope that people behind this case, these oppressors, will not be afraid at the proper time, because I will not stop going after you.")
Trillanes also called on the media to unite amid the pressures it has been receiving from government.
He also bared that some sectors in the armed forces are dismayed over the Duterte administration's move to scrap the Philippines' Visiting Forces Agreement with the United States. -- with report from Chiara Zambrano, ABS-CBN News