Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Wednesday clarified that they will ask the Davao court handling the criminal cases against Senator Antonio Trillanes IV to issue a travel ban against the lawmaker.
“We are not withdrawing the motion for (the) issuance of an HDO (hold departure order) by the Davao court. As I said earlier, an HDO may be relevant and useful in the future,” Guevarra told reporters.
The DOJ chief earlier ordered the Bureau of Immigration (BI) not to prevent Senator Antonio Trillanes IV from traveling abroad if no travel ban is handed down by the courts against him.
The Davao City Regional Trial Court (RTC) has given Trillanes five days from last Friday to file his comment or opposition.
On Sunday, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief, Director Guillermo Eleazar earlier said they have already secured a copy of the arrest warrant against Senator Antonio Trillanes IV in connection with the libel cases filed by presidential son and former Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte and his brother-in-law Manases Carpio.
Davao City RTC Branch 54 Judge Melinda Alconcel-Dayanghirang issued four warrants of arrest and fixed the bail for Trillanes at PHP24,000 for each case.
The court ordered law enforcement authorities to arrest Trillanes within 10 days after they receive the order, which was dated December 7.
On Monday, Trillanes arrived at the sala of Judge Rowena Nieves Tan of the Pasay City RTC Branch 118 at around 10:30 a.m. and posted bail worth PHP96,000 for four counts of libel.
Paolo filed three libel cases and Carpio pressed one libel charge against Trillanes over the latter’s alleged derogatory statements against them.
Trillanes dragged Paolo and Carpio’s name into the PHP6.4-billion shabu smuggling issue and the Uber franchise application.
Trillanes had alleged on a dyAB Cebu radio interview that Paolo and Carpio connived with a Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board official in Central Visayas in demanding a bribe in return for the approval of an Uber franchise.
Paolo and Carpio have denied both allegations. The two also appeared before a Senate inquiry where they strongly denied the senator’s accusations. (PNA)