Court denies motion to quash Trillanes' sedition raps

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 09 2019 07:12 AM | Updated as of May 09 2019 11:29 AM

MANILA - A Pasay City judge has rejected Sen. Antonio Trillanes' petition to quash his inciting to sedition case for lack of merit.

State prosecutors in March 2018 charged Trillanes with inciting to sedition, which stemmed from a privilege speech allegedly calling on the military to take up arms against President Rodrigo Duterte.

Trillanes argued that convincing people to sign a petition calling on public officials to resign cannot be considered a crime, much less tantamount to inciting to sedition.

"However, these arguments are based on allegations that are purely evidentiary in nature, the truth of which can only be ascertained in a full-blown trial where the parties will be given equal opportunity to present proof that will support their respective claims," Pasay City Metropolitan Trial Court Branch 45 Judge Remiebel Mondia said in a resolution dated Feb. 22, 2019.

Court denies motion to quash Trillanes' sedition raps 1
Court denies motion to quash Trillanes' sedition raps 2

The complaint was filed by a lawyers' group based on Trillanes' speech at the Senate last Oct. 3, 2018.

The senator supposedly said in his speech: "Kung makikita ito ng mga sundalo, M60 machine gun ang gagamitin sa 'yo. Marami-rami itom maubos magazine kung P40 million hinahanap mo Mr. Duterte."

(If only soldiers could see this, they will use an M60 machine gun on you. These are many. The magazines will be emptied if you're looking for P40 million, Mr. Duterte.)

Pasay City prosecutor Joahna Gabatino-Lim earlier said that Trillanes enticed the people to sign a petition to pressure the President to do certain acts and make it appear that Duterte amassed ill-gotten wealth.

Trillanes' supposed pronouncement of "Ang total na laman na pumasok sa account ay mahigit P2 billion (In total, P2 billion went into the account)" tended to "create in the minds of public a feeling hatred and disgust" towards the President and the government, the prosecutor said.