By Vann Marlo M. Villegas, December 6 2018; Business World


Image Credit to Philippine Star

THE DEPARTMENT of Justice (DoJ) has asked a Davao City court to issue a hold-departure order (HDO) against Sen. Antonio F. Trillanes IV, Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra said.

The motion to ban the opposition senator from leaving the country is set for hearing on Dec. 7, Friday, he added.

“(T)here is a motion for the issuance of hold departure order which is set for hearing tomorrow, Friday with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Davao City,” he said at the sidelines of the International Dialogue on Human Trafficking held at the Philippine International Convention City.

He, however, noted that he is not sure how many motions for the issuance of an HDO were filed in different courts as Mr. Trillanes has other pending cases, including the inciting to sedition in a Pasay City court.

Mr. Trillanes is facing libel complaints in Davao City filed last Sept. 6 by presidential son and former vice-mayor Paolo Z. Duterte and his brother-in-law, Manases R. Carpio, husband of Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.

For his rebellion case over the 2007 Manila Peninsula siege, Judge Elmo M. Alameda of Makati City RTC Branch 150 granted the senator’s motion to lift the HDO on Nov. 29, allowing him to attend various meetings and invitations abroad from Dec. 11 to Jan. 12, and from Jan. 27 to Feb. 10, 2019.

The DoJ has filed an appeal against the partial lifting of the HDO.

Mr. Guevarra denied that the HDO requests against Mr. Trillanes in other courts have any connection with the order of the Makati court.

“(T)hese are not related at all. There are different complainants here and they are pending in other courts. And just like in any case where the jurisdiction belongs to the regional trial court, it is the right of and prerogative of the prosecution to ask for the issuance of an HDO,” he said.

“It’s SOP (Standard Operation Procedure)… whenever an offense that is cognizable by the regional trial court is pending with the court and just like a motion for the issuance of a warrant of arrest, a motion for the issuance of a HDO is something that is SOP. It has nothing to do with a denial of the motion for hold-departure order in the Makati cases,” he added.

Mr. Trillanes’ rebellion case at Branch 150 was reopened after President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Aug. 31, through Presidential Proclamation No. 572, voided his amnesty, claiming that he did not comply with the requirements such as the submission of application form and admission of guilt.

Consequently, the court granted on Sept. 25 the DoJ’s motion for an arrest warrant and HDO against the senator, who then posted bail.

On the other hand, Judge Andres B. Soriano of Makati RTC Branch 148 denied the motion of the DoJ for the arrest of Mr. Trillanes for his coup d’etat case arising from the 2003 Oakwood Mutiny.

Mr. Soriano, in his decision, said Mr. Trillanes sufficiently proved that he filed his amnesty. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas