Secretary Menardo Guevara of the Department of Justice (DOJ) said the indictment and issuance of arrest warrants was a positive development for the prosecution.
Krizjohn Rosales
Trillanes, 10 others ordered arrested for sedition
Robertzon Ramirez (The Philippine Star) - February 15, 2020 - 12:00am

QUEZON CITY, Philippines — A Quezon City metropolitan trial court (MTC) issued yesterday warrants for the arrest of former senator Antonio Trillanes IV and 10 others for inciting to sedition stemming from a pre-election video linking the administration to drugs. 

Secretary Menardo Guevara of the Department of Justice (DOJ) said the indictment and issuance of arrest warrants was a positive development for the prosecution.

The DOJ filed charges against Trillanes and 10 others before the Quezon City MTC Branch 138 last Monday. 

Guevarra said the court’s decision showed that it has found probable cause to hold Trillanes and the others liable in the supposed conspiracy to commit sedition in a destabilization plot against the government.  

“When the court issues a warrant of arrest, it means that the judge agrees that there is probable cause against the accused,” Guevarra said. 

Trillanes said he would confront the cases as soon as he returns to Manila from abroad late next week.

He said he is currently out of the country “for a series of engagements” but intends to post bail once he arrives in Manila.

“I will face this case just as I have faced all the other harassment cases Duterte’s minions have filed against me,” the former senator said.

Trillanes earlier described the charge against him as an “absurd case.”

“This latest absurd case is but another proof that the Duterte administration continues to weaponize the law against the political opposition, critics and the media,” he said.

He vowed not to be cowed by what he called political persecution against him and other opposition leaders.

“On the contrary, we are more determined and motivated to continue our fight for democracy and the rights of our people,” Trillanes said.

The DOJ has indicted Trillanes for conspiracy to commit sedition over alleged efforts to discredit President Duterte, his allies and family along with Peter Joemel Advincula, alias “Bikoy” in the “Ang Totoong Narcolist” video blogs. 

A certain Monique, Jonnel Sangalang, Yolanda Ong, Fr. Flaviano Villanueva, Fr. Albert Alejo, Vicente Romano III, Joel Saracho, Boom Enriquez and dismissed police official Col. Eduardo Acierto were also indicted by the DOJ.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) said it is ready to implement the arrest warrant against the accused, with teams from the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group and the Quezon City Police District.

“On orders of the Metropolitan Trial Court Branch 138 of Quezon City, the PNP is duty bound to effect the arrest of all persons named in the warrant of arrest and ensure their security while under our custody,” PNP spokesman Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac said. 

With Trillanes out of the country, Banac said they will only coordinate with their international counterparts once the prescription period of one month has lapsed. 

Two of the priests named in the warrant, Villanueva and Alejo, were among the four people who posted bail as of yesterday. 

Lawyer Larry Gadon, representing Advincula, said the accused will voluntarily surrender next week to post bail.

Advincula is supposedly in a safehouse in Northern Luzon after he appeared for the promulgation of judgement in La Trinidad where his case was dismissed. 

Advincula alleged that his videos, dubbed the “Totoong Narcolist,” was part of the opposition’s Project Sodoma to discredit Duterte and have him removed from office to pave the way for Vice President Leni Robredo to assume the presidency. 

There were 36 individuals named in the original complaint but the DOJ-National Prosecution Service only recommended the filing of charges against 11 respondents. 

The complaint against the other respondents, including Robredo, Catholic bishops and opposition candidates was dismissed.  – With Romina Cabrera

DOJ MENARDO GUEVARA
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