By Jeffrey Damicog
State prosecutors have asked several courts to issue hold departure orders (HDO) against Senator Antonio Trillanes IV who is taking a trip to Europe and the United States.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra defended the move made by state prosecutors to prevent Trillanes from leaving the country.
“I think it is the duty of the prosecution to file those motions in court,” he told reporters Thursday.
State prosecutors have filed separate motions including those before the Davao City and Pasay City courts asking for the issuance of HDOs against Trillanes.
The Senator is facing a libel case before the Davao City RTC filed by President Rodrigo Duterte’s son, former Davao City vice mayor Paolo Duterte.
Trillanes faces charges of inciting to sedition before the Pasay City Metropolitan Trial Court for allegedly making statements that urged the military to shoot the President for his alleged hidden wealth.
Guevarra assured that these moves have nothing to do with the decision of the Makati RTC which allowed Trillanes to travel abroad.
“A motion for the issuance of a HDO is something that is SOP (standard operating procedure),” he explained. “It has nothing to do with the denial of the motion for HDO in the Makati cases,” he assured.
Judge Elmo Alameda of the Makati City RTC Branch 150, who earlier issued a HDO against the legislator, has granted last Nov. 29 the motion of Trillanes to travel to Spain, Netherlands, and United Kingdom from December 11, 2018 to Jan. 11, 2019; and to the United States from Jan. 27 to Feb. 10, 2019.
Alameda is handling the rebellion case against Trillanes concerning his involvement in the 2007 Manila Peninsula siege.
Because of this, the DOJ has filed a motion for reconsideration asking the court to reverse its ruling.
Apart from this, Judge Andres Soriano of Makati RTC Branch 148 has already denied with finality the motion of the DOJ seeking the issuance of a warrant of arrest and HDO against Trillanes.
Soriano is handling the coup d’etat case against Trillanes concerning his participation in the 2003 Oakwood mutiny.