MANILA, Philippines – The Makati Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 150 has allowed opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes IV to travel abroad, saying it did not consider him a flght risk.
The court temporarily lifted the Hold Departure Order (HDO) against Trillanes, paving the way for the senator’s trips to Europe, the United Kingdom, and the United States for various activities, including speaking engagements.
The court set a travel bond of P200,000.
“Taking therefore into account the previous conduct demonstrated by Senator Trillanes and the purpose of his travel coupled with the fact that he is not considered a flight risk, the court is persuaded to grant his request to travel abroad upon posting of a travel bond in the amount of P200,000,” said Judge Elmo Alameda.
Trillanes will go to the Netherlands, Spain, and the United Kingdom from December 11, 2018 to January 12, 2019, and to the United States from January 27, 2018 to February 10, 2019.
Trillanes has to seek court authority to travel abroad ever since Branch 150 reopened the rebellion cases against him, pursuant to President Rodrigo Duterte’s Proclamation No. 572 that attempted to void the senator’s amnesty and order his rearrest.
Though rebellion is generally a non-bailable charge, Trillanes was able to secure a bail grant earlier at the same court under the same judge.
The DOJ had opposed the senator’s travel request, citing the lack of invitations and other documents to prove the purposes of his visits. But the court said Trillanes has demonstrated his willingness to abide by the conditions of his bail.
“As a Senator with a national constituency, his travel abroad may broaden his outlook of the problems of the country which he may use in proposing bills which is the core of Congress’ lawmaking,” said Alameda.
High-profile personalities who have pending court cases but are out on bail generally have an easy time getting travel permission. – Rappler.com