Trillanes posts bail for libel cases filed by Paolo Duterte
Senator Antonio Trillanes IV on Monday secured temporary freedom after posting P96,000 bail before the Pasay City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 118 for libel charges filed by former Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte and his brother-in-law, brother-in-law, lawyer Manases Carpio.
The Davao City RTC Branch 54 Judge Melinda Alconcel-Dayanghirang issued four warrants of arrest last Dec. 7 against the senator.
“This is another challenge dito sa ating ginagampanang role bilang kritiko ni Mr. Duterte so tanggap ko yung mga ganitong pagsubok,” Trillanes told reporters after posting his bail.
“Itong mga ito, mga harassment cases lang ito dahil nasasaksihan naman ng mga kababayan natin yung mga sinasabi ko, diba?,” he added.
The judge set the bail at P24,000 for each libel case — or a total of P96,000 — for Trillanes’ temporary freedom.
Duterte and Carpio lodged the libel suits against Trillanes for accusing them of extorting money from Uber and other companies.
Duterte filed another libel suit against Trillanes for linking him to the smuggling of P6.4 billion worth of “shabu” (crystal meth) from China in May last year.
Trillanes earlier said he was to turn himself in to authorities but decided to post bail on Monday.
The senator also argued that under the 1987 Constitution he was immune from arrest for offenses punishable by not more than six years imprisonment while Congress is in session.
Trillanes also denounced the warrant of arrest as another attempt to silence him as one of President Rodrigo Duterte’s critics.
The court approved the bail and issued a release order for Trillanes.
Hold Departure Order
Asked by reporters if he would continue his travels on Tuesday, Trillanes answered: “We will see.”
“We will see. Titingnan natin kung may mga obstacles pa at kung wala naman e di tutuloy tayo,” the senator said.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) earlier asked several courts to stop Trillanes from traveling abroad because the senator has pending complaints for inciting to sedition before a Pasay court and Pasay Prosecutors Office.
The Davao RTC is also hearing a motion from the DOJ to issue a HDO against Trillanes.
READ: DOJ asks several courts to stop Trillanes from leaving the country
The senator is set to travel to Europe and the US from Dec. 11, 2018 to Jan. 12, 2019 and from Jan. 27 to Feb. 10, 2019 for various speaking engagements. /cbb
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