MANILA - A labor undersecretary on Monday said he will file inciting to sedition charges against Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV for supposedly calling President Rodrigo Duterte names and for claiming that he has military support.
Usec. Jing Paras said Trillanes, who has been holed up in the Senate after President Rodrigo Duterte voided his amnesty, has been saying that the chief executive is "insane," "sickly, almost dying," and is "sinungaling, mamamatay-tao."
The mutineer-turned-lawmaker also claimed that "the military is supporting" him," said Paras.
"This case that we are going to file pertains to other facts. While he was staying in the, according to Robin Padilla, the Hotel Senado, he was mincing words against the President, maligning the President, encouraging people to overthrow the President and his government," Paras told ANC's Headstart.
"He deserves to be brought to court because he continues on violating the law," he said, saying the charges will be filed within the week.
The statements were not only inciting sedition, but also fall under the criminal offense of "proposal to commit to coup d’état" because it "can be implied" that the senator is saying that military should initiate moves against the Duterte administration, said Paras.
"When you destroy the image of the leader, you have asked the soldiers to lose respect to your commander-in-chief, then you are creating a scenario for an overthrown government," he said.
Paras earlier filed charges of grave threats against Trillanes over statements the senator allegedly made against him on the sidelines of a Senate inquiry in June.
If filed, the inciting to sedition charge will be the newest of Trillanes' legal woes, following a libel charge filed by Duterte's son, Paolo Duterte.
Former President Benigno Aquino, granted amnesty to Trillanes and several other military rebels in 2011, leading to his release from detention.
Trillanes won a seat in the Senate in 2007, campaigning from detention. He was reelected in 2013. In 2016, while running for vice president, he campaigned against then Davao City Mayor Duterte.
He has since become Duterte's fiercest critic, calling on the chief executive to undergo drug tests, psychological assessments, and to bare his state of health and wealth.