DOJ asks Davao court to cancel Trillanes bail over holiday travel

Lian Buan
DOJ asks Davao court to cancel Trillanes bail over holiday travel
Paolo Duterte's camp claims Senator Antonio Trillanes IV's December trip makes him guilty of flight. The senator is now back in the Philippines and has appeared before the Davao City court.

MANILA, Philippines – Stepping up the efforts to jail opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, Paolo Duterte and the Department of Justice (DOJ) asked the Davao City Regional Trial Court (RTC) to cancel the bail earlier granted to the senator for the libel charges he’s facing there.

Duterte and the DOJ’s Davao City prosecutor cited as reason Trillanes’ travel to Europe over the holidays, which prosecutors said prove he is guilty of flight.

It was the camp of complainant Paolo Duterte who filed the urgent motion to cancel bail before the Davao City RTC, which was received by the court on January 10. Davao City Senior Assistant Prosecutor Joseph Mamburam adopted the motion on the same day.

“It is respectfully prayed of this Honorable Court that this manifestation be noted and that accused bail be canceled and an alias warrant of arrest be immediately issued against him,” Mamburam said.


Davao City RTC Branch 54 already rejected the DOJ’s request to issue a hold departure order (HDO) against Trillanes. Last Tuesday, January 15, the senator personally appeared before Judge Melinda Alconcel Dayanghirang for his arraignment.

What is the basis of this motion to cancel bail? The details are in the timeline.

Trillanes flew to Europe on December 11, or 3 days before the court rejected the motion for an HDO.

November 29, 2018 – Makati City RTC Branch 150 grants Trillanes travel authority to go to Europe from December 11, 2018 to January 12, 2019, and to the United States from January 27 to February 10, 2019. Trillanes faces rebellion charges at the Makati City RTC.

December 6, 2018 – The DOJ asks Davao City RTC Branch 54 to issue the HDO against Trillanes.

December 8, 2018 – Davao City RTC Branch 54 issues 4 arrest warrants against Trillanes, but doesn’t issue any HDO.

December 10, 2018 – Trillanes posts bail for the Davao charges, but he does it from the Pasay City RTC, which is allowed by the Rules of Court.

December 10, 2018 – Pasay City Prosecutor Reynaldo Ticyado withdraws his motion for a precautionary HDO (PHDO) against Trillanes. The senator faces charges of inciting to sedition and grave threat before the Pasay court.

December 10, 2018 – Having no HDO against Trillanes, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra tells media: “I have instructed the Bureau of Immigration to allow Senator Trillanes to leave tomorrow if no HDO or PHDO is issued by any court.”

December 11, 2018 – Trillanes flies to Europe, going to the Netherlands, Spain, and United Kingdom.

December 14, 2018 – Davao City RTC Branch 54 rejects the DOJ’s motion for an HDO, saying that Trillanes is not a flight risk.

January 15, 2018 – Trillanes flies to Davao City for his arraignment.

For the DOJ, Trillanes did not have authority to fly when he did, because posting bail means he was already within the jurisdiction of the court, and he needed its explicit permission to go out of the country.

“The prosecution humbly submits that by virtue of the arrest warrant and his bail, accused was automatically barred from going abroad,” said Mamburam.

Guevarra said on Thursday, January 17, that his statement on instructing immigration authorities to allow Trillanes to travel is not related to the senator’s court obligations.

“If you’re an accused and you’re traveling abroad beyond the jurisdiction and reach of the court, you need to request leave of court even if no HDO has been issued against you. I am not sure if Senator Trillanes obtained this permission from the court before he traveled,” Guevarra said.

Davao City RTC Branch 54 has set a mediation hearing between Trillanes and Paolo Duterte on March 21.

Paolo Duterte’s lawyer Rainier Madrid said the mediation has a shot at working if Trillanes apologizes to his client.

“It all depends on the parties involved if Senator Trillanes will humble himself, probably apologize, we’ll never know…. It’s their (Trillanes and Duterte) ballgame, not the ballgame of the lawyers.” –

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Lian Buan

Lian Buan covers justice and corruption for Rappler. She is interested in decisions, pleadings, audits, contracts, and other documents that establish a trail. If you have leads, email or tweet @lianbuan.