Criminal charges for inciting to sedition have been filed by Pasay prosecutors against Senator Antonio Trillanes IV for inflammatory statements made by the lawmaker last year shortly after his amnesty was revoked by Malacañang.
In a resolution which accompanied the formal criminal information charge sheet filed before the Pasay Metropolitan trial court (MTC) Branch 44 dated January 30, 2019, Assistant City Prosecutor Reynaldo Ticyado recommended the inciting to sedition charges filed against Trillanes.
The complaint was initiated by Labor Undersecretary Jacinto Paras, Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission Commissioner Manuelito Luna and lawyers Eligio Mallari and Nasser A. Marohomsalic.
The charge, approved by Senior Deputy City Prosecutor Dolores P. Riliera, recommended PHP36,000 bail for Trillanes. However, the complaint for proposal to commit coup d’etat was dismissed for insufficiency of evidence.
The case arose from statements made by Trillanes on Sept. 4, 2018 which included such phrases as “Mr. Duterte, hindi ako takot sa iyo (Mr. Duterte I am not afraid of you)” and “”Itong pangyayari na ito, it should be clear to everyone na si Mr. Duterte ay isang dictator. Hindi siya rumerespeto sa institusyon kaya ganito tayo. Kung ‘yungg mga ordinaryong tao pinapatay, yung mga kritiko niya ikukulong so ganyan ang kalakaran sa Pilipinas ngayon (This shows that we are in a dictatorship where ordinary people are killed and critics jailed).”
Prosecutors said Trillanes cannot claim parliamentary immunity.
“Such privilege under the factual circumstances of this case is not applicable to him considering that the statements made by him, although issued or delivered within the premises of the Philippine Senate, 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 senator,” they said.
“In the case at bar substantially shown is the fact that the respondent granted an interview by media personalities wherein he issued a statement bearing words tending to instill a feeling of hatred and distrust toward the President of the Philippines and the Government that he represented and which statement was disseminated to the general public thereby creating a breach of peace and public order,” they added.
On Sept. 5, 2018, at the Philippine Senate, Trillanes called on the military and the police not to follow the president’s order by saying “Duterte will not be there for long, please do not do anything illegal or unconstitutional.”