Trillanes charged over remarks against Duterte during amnesty row

Kristine Joy Patag - Philstar.com
Trillanes charged over remarks against Duterte during amnesty row
File photo shows Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV in a press conference at the Senate where he stayed pending the government's pleas to issue a warrant of arrest against him over the his revoked amnesty.
The STAR / Geremy Pintolo

MANILA, Philippines — A local prosecutor has found probable cause to indict Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV on inciting to sedition raps over the senator's remarks against President Rodrigo Duterte.

Assistant City Prosecutor Reynaldo Ticyado held in a resolution dated Jan. 29, 2019 that inciting to sedition charges should be filed against Trillanes.

Labor Undersecretary Jing Paras and Presidential Anti-Corruption Commissioner Manuelito Luna, who filed the raps, wanted Trillanes charged over his “incendiary and hateful speeches against President Duterte after issuance of Proclamation 572 that voided the amnesty granted to him during the previous administration.”

EXPLAINER: Trillanes amnesty: Two courts and two rulings that may meet at SC

Article 142 of the Revised Penal Code states that inciting to sedition can be done through speeches, proclamations, writings, emblems, cartoons, banners or other representations “that tend to disturb or obstruct any lawful officer in executing the functions of his office, or instigate others to cabal and meet together for unlawful purposes, or which suggest or incite rebellious conspiracies or riots, or which lead or tend to stir up the people against the lawful authorities or to disturb the peace of the community, the safety and order of the government, or who shall knowingly conceal such evil practices.”

Trillanes is being sued over his media interview on Sept. 4, 2018, when he allegedly said the following statements:

  • “Itong amnesty is an act of Congress. Hindi sya masusupersede ng isang executive order.”
  • “Alam niyo itong si Mr. Calida ang gumawa nito eh. Syempre gustung-gusto ng amo niyang si  Duterte. They’ve been trying everything to stop this hearing na iko-conduct ko kay Mr. Calida.”
  • “Di ko maisip na they would go to great lengths, even make themselves look stupid para lang to get rid of me. Isa lang hamon ko eh. Pumirma sya ng waiver. Magkaalaman. Magreresign ako. Sabi ko papasok ako sa kulungan. Di mo kailangan gumawa ng ganitong kalokohan.”

Ticyado said the words “were intended to instill in the minds of the people a feeling of hatred and distrust towards the President of the Philippines, the Government and its duly constituted authorities.”

Trillanes in his counter-affidavit asserted that he was interviewed by media in his capacity as a lawmaker.

The prosecutor said that Trillanes’ defense of parliamentary immunity is not applicable as the statements “relate to the presidential proclamation revoking the previous grant of amnesty to him and therefore not made while the Senate was in session and in connection with the discharge of his official duties as a senator.”

Ticyado, however, dismissed the proposal to commit a coup d’etat complaint against Trillanes as he held that the allegation was “insufficient to warrant indictment.”

He also issued a one-page information or charge sheet on the indictment that was filed before the Pasay Metropolitan Court on February 11.

The copy of the resolution and information was only made public on Tuesday.

Trillanes' cases

This is the second inciting to sedition charge against Trillanes.

In March 2018, Pasay City Senior Assistant City Prosecutor Joahna Gabatino-Lim charged Trillanes for inciting to sedition over a separate complaint on his pronouncements on Duterte’s alleged hidden wealth.

The case was raffled off to the Pasay Metropolitan Trial Court Branch 45.

The senator is also facing a libel charge filed by former Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte and Manases Carpio, the president's son and son-in-law, respectively, before a Davao court.

Trillanes would also be back at Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 150 on March 20 after it revived the rebellion case against him.




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