FACT CHECK: Old news clips used in 'latest update' on complaints vs Trillanes
Claim: The blog du30gov.com in its May 13 post declared “Ayan Na! Tito Sotto Itinuloy na mga Kasong Magpapatalsik kay Trillanes sa Korte! Panoorin!” (Here it is! Tito Sotto proceeds with cases in court that would oust Trillanes! Watch!).
The blog post contained only a YouTube video uploaded by Tatay Duterte News.
The post has been shared by 11 different Facebook pages and groups. A similar claim was also published by both pinoynewsportal.info and clip60.com. The video on clip60.com, however, appears to have been taken down and now displays an error message.
The Facts: While Trillanes is indeed facing ethics complaints in the Senate and may be charged over other matters, Sotto has not filed any case against him before the courts in relation to these issues.
Asked about this claim, Sotto said in a text message to Rappler, "Not true. Ethics [committee] has still to decide."
In addition, the source video showed patched-up clips of old news reports and events:
- A February 28, 2017 clip from PTV’s Newsbreak on the ethics complaints filed by lawyer Abelardo de Jesus against Trillanes in the Senate
- An April 5, 2017 clip from GMA’s 24 Oras on businesswoman Guillermina Arcillas' claim that she was bribed by Trillanes to testify against Duterte
- A clip of Arcillas discussing her accusation in a press conference. (READ: Davao witness: I was pressured to invent drug issue vs Duterte)
As of this posting, Trillanes is facing two ethics complaints in the Senate. The one filed in February 2017 by lawyer Abelardo de Jesus was based on two things: Trillanes' allegations in 2015 that two Court of Appeals (CA) associate justices each received a P25-million bribe to stop the suspension of then Makati mayor Jejomar Binay Jr, and Trillanes' labeling President Rodrigo Duterte a "murderer".
Senator Richard Gordon filed another complaint in September 2017, over Trillanes' "unparliamentary acts, language, and conduct" during a Senate hearing on the P6.4-billion shabu shipment scandal.
These two complaints are still pending with the Senate ethics committee. Gordon's complaint was found to be sufficient in form and substance in September 2017.
Another ethics complaint against Trillanes and Senator Panfilo Lacson, filed by former Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon in connection with the shabu shipment scandal, was junked by the Senate ethics committee in February 2018.
Meanwhile, at least two cases being prepared against Trillanes, which were mentioned in the video, have yet to reach the courts.
In May 2017, businesswoman Arcillas was reportedly eyeing a case against Trillanes over his attempt to "bribe" her to testify against Duterte. Solicitor General Jose Calida said in a news conference in February 2017 that he would also file a case against Trillanes for “coddling” alleged Davao Death Squad hitman Arturo Lascañas.
There have been no latest news reports nor updates on these cases as of posting.
However, on May 16, days after the blog post was published, the Supreme Court allowed a civil case against Trillanes to proceed in the lower court. This was over his statements related to the "Hacienda Binay" issue. The SC rejected Trillanes' attempt to invoke parliamentary immunity from suit. – Miguel Imperial and Michael Bueza / Rappler.com