In this photo taken February 18, former Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV speaks with reporters after he posted bail on the conspiracy to commit sedition charge filed against him before Quezon City Metropolitan Trial Court Branch 138.
The STAR/Michael Varcas
Trillanes says he declined political asylum despite mounting number of cases
(Philstar.com) - February 19, 2020 - 12:18pm

MANILA, Philippines — Former Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV said Wednesday that he turned down offers for political asylum amid the increasing number of legal suits he is facing since the start of the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.

On ANC’s “Early Edition” on Wednesday morning, Trillanes said he received at least two offers for political asylum in Europe but declined them.

"I respectfully declined the offer because we cannot abandon this battle especially now...that we feel that we’re actually winning," he added.

According to Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, "everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution," although the right to asylum does not cover those facing prosecution "genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations."

According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, most asylum seekers in 2018—around 341,800—were from Venezuela, where a political crisis is still unfolding. 

Trillanes arrived in Manila early Monday morning from engagements abroad and was met with an arrest warrant. A court had ordered his arrest this time for a conspiracy to commit sedition charge over his supposed participation in the production of the “Ang Totoong Narcolist,” a video series alleging President Rodrigo Duterte, his family and allies have drug links.

Active cases, pending investigations

This is the latest legal suit the former lawmaker and vocal Duterte critic is facing.

He also faces a revived rebellion case over his participation in the 2007 Manila Peninsula Siege, inciting to sedition cases over his remarks against Duterte, a grave threat case filed by a Duterte ally and libel cases in Davao filed by members of the Duterte family.

He is also named as a respondent in a kidnapping complaint that is awaiting resolution at the Department of Justice.

Trillanes however said that he declined the offer for a political asylum from two European countries he refused to identify.

He said he feels that they are actually “winning” as public perception are changing against Duterte, this despite satisfaction rating of the president hitting record high at 82% in December 2019.

Trillanes said he believes that the polls are “compromised or has certain sampling errors that distort the results.”

He added that he met a lot of people who were once supporters of the president but are now criticizing him. He added he and his supporters have conducted “our own internal surveys and his numbers are declining.”

“These may be anecdotal but I can feel it on the ground,” he also said. — Kristine Joy Patag

ANTONIO TRILLAVES IV SEDITION
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