Trillanes sets foot in Davao City to face libel cases

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes IV set foot in President Rodrigo Duterte's hometown for the first time since he was declared persona non grata here nearly a year ago.

Trillanes flew to Davao City on Tuesday, January 15, to be arraigned for the 4 libel cases filed against him by the Chief Executive's son, former Davao City vice mayor Paolo Duterte, and son-in-law Manases Carpio.

Trillanes arrived at the Francisco Bangoy International Airport early morning, accompanied by his security and some members of the Office of the Senate Sergeant-At-Arms. His arraignment was set for 8:30 am at the Davao City Regional Trial Court Branch 54, at the sala of Judge Melinda Alconcel Dayanghirang.

The camp of Trillanes earlier said they would question the jurisdiction of the Davao City fiscal office over the libel complaints.

In December 2018, Dayanghirang issued 4 arrest warrants against Trillanes. The senator posted bail of P96,000 – P24,000 for each of the 4 counts – at the Pasay RTC Branch 118.

The libel charges stemmed from Trillanes' accusations linking Paolo Duterte and Carpio to shabu smuggling. Paolo also said Trillanes accused him of engaging in extortion from ride-sharing firm Uber and other companies.

In February 2018, the Davao City Council declared Trillanes "persona non grata" after he called President Duterte's hometown the most dangerous city in the Philippines.

Trillanes, in an international forum, cited Philippine National Police data and said Davao City was number one in terms of murder and rape cases when Duterte served as mayor. –

Camille Elemia

Camille Elemia is Rappler's lead reporter for media, disinformation issues, and democracy. She won an ILO award in 2017. She received the prestigious Fulbright-Hubert Humphrey fellowship in 2019, allowing her to further study media and politics in the US. Email