Paolo Duterte files fresh libel raps vs Trillanes


Posted at Sep 19 2018 03:10 PM | Updated as of Sep 19 2018 05:00 PM

Former Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte and Senator Antonio Trillanes IV. File

MANILA (UPDATE) - President Rodrigo Duterte's son Paolo Duterte on Wednesday filed two new libel cases against Senator Antonio Trillanes IV.

The charges stemmed from the senator's statements in media interviews in June this year, the former Davao City vice mayor's lawyer said.

"We did not time it with the amnesty issue. This complaint has started since June," said lawyer Rainier Madrid.

Earlier this month, the younger Duterte also filed a libel case against Trillanes over the latter's allegations of corruption a year ago.

Trillanes, in 2017, had claimed that the younger Duterte and his brother-in-law Manases Carpio were involved in a scheme to extort money from ride-hailing firms.

The complaint was filed just days after the President voided Trillanes' amnesty, reviving coup d'etat and rebellion charges against him for uprisings in 2003 and 2007. 

The rebel-turned-senator, among the administration's fiercest critics, has been holed up in his Senate office in the face of an arrest. The President had said Trillanes would only be arrested if the court issues a warrant against him.

Trillanes had earlier said Duterte's first libel case was a means to lure him out of the Senate so he could be taken into custody. 

His lawyer said Wednesday said they would seek the dismissal of the libel cases against the senator, arguing that they should not be heard in Davao City due to an alleged "home court advantage."

"Ang venue sa criminal case is jurisdictional… Gustong magkaroon ng homecourt advantage. It should not be in Davao,” lawyer Reynaldo Robles said.
(The venue in a criminal case is jurisdictional...They want a home court advantage.)

Trillanes earlier said the Dutertes wielded influence in Davao City courts. 

The new libel complaints are the latest in Trillanes' many legal woes. Last week, Labor Undersecretary Jacinto Paras filed a case of inciting to sedition or inciting to coup d'etat against him. 

The President voided Trillanes' 2011 amnesty for his supposed failure to comply with requirements, including the admission of guilt. The senator has asserted that he followed proper procedure.