Trillanes turned down offers of political asylum in 2 countries

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 19 2020 08:48 AM | Updated as of Feb 19 2020 09:01 AM

Former senator Antonio Trillanes IV posts bail over a charge for conspiracy to commit sedition at the Quezon City Metropolitan Trial Court on February 18, 2020. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Former Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV on Wednesday said he is "not bothered" by some 20 cases filed against him by the Duterte administration.

Trillanes 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 former senator said the complaint and all others filed by government against him were without basis.

"I’m not bothered at all by this case or all the other cases. These are just tools of a dictator to silence opposition and instill fear in the others so they won’t follow suit," he told ANC's Early Edition.

"This is what you call a file and forget type of case. You're bothered, harassed, distracted and that's the only intention of this administration."

Trillanes said he has been offered political asylum by at least 2 countries in Europe, which he refused because he feels that the opposition was "actually winning."

"People are slowly realizing that our earlier assertions were true. I’ve seen how this administration got into power back in 2016, wherein he had that almost cult-like image and following...Now you can see conversions by the day," he said.

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The Office of the Solicitor General's move to seek the nullification of the ABS-CBN franchise, among others, are "acts of a desperate regime trying to hold on to its grip of power," he added.

"If you’re secured, you won’t do these things," Trillanes said.

The network's franchise issue is a "potential flashpoint," according to the former senator.

"We’re at that critical juncture and they will have to play carefully. I believe based on history, they (administration) will fold under public pressure and ABS-CBN will eventually get the franchise," he said.

"At some point, Duterte will feel the pressure and eventually he will fold and grant the franchise to ABS-CBN but the pressure must be sustained not only by ABS-CBN and different sectors because this is an issue of press freedom and democracy."

At least 11 bills seeking to renew the broadcast franchise of ABS-CBN have been filed since July 2019, but the House of Representatives has yet to tackle any of the measures. The company's current franchise expires on March 30, while Congress will adjourn mid-March.