MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Justice (DOJ) took a sidestep in their latest bid to have a Hold Departure Order (HDO) against opposition senator Antonio Trillanes IV, after they withdrew their motion for it before the Pasay City Regional Trial Court.
Pasay City Prosecutor Reynaldo Ticyado, who is under the DOJ, withdrew their earlier request for a precautionary HDO – supposedly for the absence of any witness.
Pasay City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 118 Judge Rowena Nieves Tan approved the withdrawal. This means there will be no HDO against Trillanes from the said court – at least for now.
Trillanes is scheduled to travel to Europe and United States from Tuesday, December 11.
“Wherefore the urgent ex-parte application for the issuance of precautionary hold departure order is hereby withdrawn,” Judge Tan said in an order on Monday, December 10.
But the senator cannot rest easy.
The Davao City Regional Trial Court (RTC) is still tackling a motion from the DOJ to issue an HDO against him.
“As part of due process, the Davao City RTC gave [Senator] Trillanes 5 days from last Friday to file his comment/opposition re: motion to issue HDO. The court is not expected to issue an HDO until it has received and evaluated Sen Trillanes’ comment/opposition,” said Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra.
Guevarra added: “I have instructed the Bureau of Immigration (BI) to allow Sen Trillanes to leave tomorrow if no HDO or PHDO is issued by any court.”
The Pasay RTC is the 3rd court that the DOJ turned to in order to bar Trillanes from going abroad.
It was the Makati RTC which issued an HDO against Trillanes when Branch 150 Judge Alameda ordered the senator’s arrest for the re-opened charges of rebellion. But Alameda later granted Trillanes authority to travel abroad, where he has scheduled speaking engagements.
The DOJ appealed the travel grant, but lost again.
The DOJ later went to the Davao City RTC where Trillanes faces libel charges filed by presidential son Paolo Duterte. The Davao City RTC issued 4 warrants of arrest against Trillanes on December 8, but didn’t issue HDOs.
Trillanes posted bail for the libel charges on Monday. – Rappler.com