TRILLANES ATTENDS ARRAIGNMENT OF LIBEL CASES IN DAVAO CITY
MOBBED by supporters after appearing at Regional Trial Court Branch 54 in Davao City Sen. Antonio Trillanes on Tuesday attend the arraignment of four libel charges filed against him by former Davao City vice mayor Paolo Duterte and his brother-in-law lawyer Manases Carpio
Opposition Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV pleaded not guilty of four libel cases filed against him by presidential son Paolo Z. Duterte and brother-in-law Manases Carpio at the Davao City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 54 on Tuesday morning.
Trillanes stated his denial before RTC Branch 54 Judge Melinda Alconcel-Dayanghirang during the arraignment of his cases.
Reporters were not allowed inside the courtroom due to the small space.
In an interview, Trillanes alleged that the charges against him are just harassment cases by the administration to silence its critics.
“Pero, nandirito ngayon ako sa Davao para harapin ito para ipakita natin na hindi natin tinatakbuhan o tinatalikuran ang mga ganitong hamon (But, I am here in Davao to face the cases to show that I am not running away from challenges like this),” he said.
The senator said his legal team will not seek transfer of trial in Metro Manila courts as a show of respect to the local court.
However, in an earlier report last September, some members of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) in Davao City cried foul on the statement of Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV alleging that judges and prosecutors are being influenced by Presidential son Paolo Duterte to hasten the senator’s libel case filed by the latter.
IBP Davao City chapter president lawyer Rogelio Largo said the independence of judges and prosecutors in the city is beyond question since they owed their allegiance to the Constitution.
Duterte and his brother-in-law Manases Carpio filed the case against the Trillanes from his interview at DYAB Cebu teleradyo on September 8, 2017, where the Senator dragged their names on the extortion franchise issue of Uber that they conspired with Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board 7 regional director Ahmed Cuison.
The complaint said the senator was not contented with the Uber issue, he also involved their names on the corruption and extortion issue in the Road Board and Department of Public Works and Highways.
“Nag-volunteer na nga ako na magpa-arraign ngayon kahit we had the option na hindi magpa-arraign muna to demonstrate that we recognize the authority and jurisdiction of the Davao court (I volunteered now to be arraigned even if we had the option not be arraigned to demonstrate that we recognize the authority and jurisdiction of the Davao court),” he said.
Trillanes said these cases will not make him stop to be a critic of the administration as long as he sees abuses from the government.
The senator said he will come back to the city to face the trial of the libel cases. (EDGE/ LON MINDANAO)