Lawyer: DOJ chief ‘misinformed’ about Trillanes’ trips
MANILA, Philippines — Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra was “misinformed” in saying that Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV did not request “leave of court” to travel abroad, the senator’s legal counsel, Reynaldo Robles, said on Wednesday.
“With all due respect, the Honorable Secretary has apparently been misinformed,” Robles said in a statement.
Earlier, Guevarra said Trillanes should request leave of court to travel abroad even without an hold departure order against him.
According to Guevarra, i’s standard legal practice for those with pending criminal charges to inform the court whenever they plan to leave the country.
But Robles said Trillanes, who has pending criminal cases, sought permission to travel abroad from Makati Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 150 and Davao City RTC Branch 54.
Trillanes is facing a rebellion case at Makati RTC Branch 150 in connection with the 2007 Manila Peninsua siege and four libel cases filed by former Davao City Mayor Paolo Duterte and lawyer Manases Carpio at Davao City RTC Branch 154.
The former vice mayor is a son of President Rodrigo Duterte and Manases is his brother law, married to his sister, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.
“For the record, Sen. Trillanes is aware and has properly complied with his obligation to inform all the courts where he has pending cases of his trips abroad, including RTC Makati – Branch 150 and even in the case of RTC Davao – Branch 54, by filing the appropriate motions and/or manifestations before said courts,” Robles said.
Makati RTC Branch 150, Robles said, granted the senator’s request to be allowed to to travel abroad “over the objection of the Department of Justice.”
Trillanes also informed the Davao City RTC Branch 54 about his trip on Dec. 10, a day before he left for The Netherlands.
According to Robles, Trillanes also submitted a comment that opposed the motion for reconsideration filed by the Department of Justice, asking the Makati RTC Branch 150 to prohibit the senator from traveling.
In an eight-page opposition filed last Dec. 6, Trillanes the DOJ motion for consideration lacked “basis and merit.”
“Needless to state, the Prosecution’s Motion for Reconsideration must be denied for lack of basis and utter lack of merit,” the comment read.
Trillanes sought permission to travel abroad to attend several activities he was invited to:
- from Dec. 11, 2018 to Jan. 11, 2019 to travel to Amsterdam in The Netherlands, Barcelona in Spain, and London in the United Kingdom
- from Jan. 27 to Feb. 10, 2019, to California, Washington D.C., and Maryland in the United States
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