QC court orders arrest of Trillanes, 10 others for conspiracy to commit sedition

Lian Buan

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QC court orders arrest of Trillanes, 10 others for conspiracy to commit sedition
(3rd UPDATE) 'I will face this case just as I have faced all the other harassment cases Duterte's minions have filed against me,' says former senator Antonio Trillanes IV, who will post bail upon his return to Manila next week

MANILA, Philippines (3rd UPDATE) – Quezon City Metropolitan Trial Court (MeTC) Branch 138 has issued warrants of arrest against former senator Antonio Trillanes IV and 10 other people for conspiracy to commit sedition, the court confirmed.

The branch clerk of MeTC Branch 138 confirmed to Rappler on Friday, February 14, that the warrants had been issued by Judge Kristine Grace Suarez to all 11 charged in the case over the Bikoy “Ang Totoong Narcolist (The True Narcolist)” videos.

The respondents will be arraigned on March 17 at 2 pm.

As many as 3 people have posted bail at P10,000 each, said the clerk. The clerk refused to disclose their identities but two of those who posted bail were priests Flaviano Villanueva and Albert Alejo. 

A copy of the warrants were also not provided.

Aside from Trillanes, the 10 others charged are:

  1. Peter Joemel Advincula alias Bikoy
  2. Fr Flaviano Villanueva
  3. Fr Albert Alejo
  4. Yoly Villanueva Ong
  5. Boom Enriquez
  6. Jonnell Sanggalang
  7. JM Saracho
  8. Eduardo Acierto
  9. Vicente Romano
  10. A certain “Monique”

‘Harassment case’

Trillanes, who was out of the country, said in a statement sent to media that he was ready to face another “harassment case.”

“I am out of the country as of the moment for a series of engagements. But I intend to post bail once I arrive in Manila late next week,” the former senator said.

“I will face this case just as I have faced all the other harassment cases Duterte’s minions have filed against me,” he added.

Trillanes, a fierce critic of Duterte, was first arrested under the Duterte administration in September 2018, when he was a sitting senator, for the charge of rebellion. This stemmed from Duterte’s Proclamation No. 572 which sought to revoke the amnesty granted to him in connection with the 2003 Oakwood mutiny and the 2007 Manila Peninsula siege. (TIMELINE: Trillanes, from mutiny to amnesty)

The opposition and human rights groups slammed the September 2018 arrest as part of the Duterte government’s crackdown on vocal critics. 

Last year, Advincula accused members of the opposition, as well as ranking figures in the Catholic Church and human rights lawyers, of conspiring to oust President Rodrigo Duterte through what he claimed was an operation code-named Project Sodoma, which involved producing and releasing the narcolist videos.

On Monday, February 10, the Department of Justice filed charges against Trillanes and 10 others over the Bikoy videos but cleared Vice President Leni Robredo, senators Leila de Lima and Risa Hontiveros, former senator Bam Aquino, former Magdalo representative Gary Alejano, and Otso Diretso candidates Erin Tañada, Chel Diokno, and Florin Hilbay. 

All complaints against human rights lawyers, bishops, and members of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines were also dropped. – Rappler.com

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Lian Buan

Lian Buan is a senior investigative reporter, and minder of Rappler's justice, human rights and crime cluster.