MANILA - Department of Justice prosecutors have asked courts hearing other cases of Sen. Antonio Trillanes to issue a hold departure order against him, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra disclosed on Thursday.
This comes as the Makati court hearing the rebellion case allowed Trillanes to travel to Europe and the US in the next 2 months, while the other court which handled the coup d’etat case earlier rejected the DOJ’s motion for issuance of an hold departure order.
Guevarra told reporters on the sidelines of an event on human trafficking in Pasay that the filing of the motions have nothing to do with the cases pending before the Makati courts.
“It just so happens that there are other cases pending against Sen. Trillanes. Some for inciting to sedition and some for libel. These are pending elsewhere in other regional trial courts and the prosecution has a right to file a motion for the issuance of a hold departure order in those cases,” he explained.
An inciting to sedition case was filed by Duterte-allied Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption lawyers Glenn Chong, Jacinto Paras, and Manuelito Luna before a Pasay regional trial court in March 2018 over Trillanes’ privilege speech in the Senate in October 2017 where he allegedly urged soldiers to shoot the President using M60 machine guns.
Trillanes was reacting to the president’s statement challenging anyone to shoot or overthrow him if they could prove that he has more than P40 million in his bank account.
The senator accused the President of having P2 billion worth of bank transactions.
Another inciting to sedition complaint was filed by the same group of lawyers before the Pasay City Prosecutor’s Office over the senator’s remarks after the President voided his amnesty.
They claimed Trillanes sowed hatred against the President by calling him a dictator. They further accused him of secretly plotting with some soldiers to oust the Chief Executive.
Meanwhile, Duterte’s son, former Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte and son-in-law Manases Carpio filed libel charges before a Davao City RTC against Trillanes over a radio interview where he allegedly accused the two of demanding kickbacks from ride-hailing firm Uber with the help of a Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board official.
Guevarra said the motion for the issuance of an HDO is set for hearing on Friday in a Davao City RTC.
Asked if the filing of the motions was prompted by the senator’s plan to leave the country, the justice secretary clarified it is a matter of procedure and the timing is merely “coincidental.”
“It’s SOP. Whenever an offense that is cognizable by the RTC is pending with the court, just like with the issuance of a warrant of arrest, a motion for the issuance of a hold departure order is something that is SOP. That’s standard,” he explained.
The DOJ has asked the Makati RTC Branch 150 to reconsider its order allowing Trillanes to travel.