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Gov’t prosecutors asked to remain firm in Trillanes indictment for inciting to sedition

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The Pasay City Prosecutor’s Office has been asked to remain firm in its decision to indict Senator Antonio Trillanes IV with inciting to sedition.

With this, the complainants, who are led by Labor Undersecretary Jacinto “Jing” Paras and Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) Commissioner Manuelito Luna, asked prosecutors to junk the lawmaker’s motion for partial reconsideration.

“Contrary to the claim of respondent Trillanes, complainants have sufficiently alleged all the relevant facts and circumstances constituting the offense of inciting to sedition, including the venue of the offense, as borne out by the record of the case,” read the comments of the complainants.

“Apart from utterly lacking merit and disrespectful, respondent Trillanes’ motion contains rehashed arguments already passed upon by the honorable office in its resolution. Notably, much, if not all, of the arguments contained in the motion for partial reconsideration have already been raised in respondent Trillanes’ counter-affidavit,” they added.

Last February, the Pasay City Prosecutor’s Office issued a resolution which found probable cause to indict Trillanes with inciting to sedition concerning statements he made before the media on Sept. 4, 2018.

The prosecutor’s office pointed out “he issued a statement bearing words tending to instill a feeling of hatred and distrust towards the President of the Philippines and the Government that he represented and which statement was disseminated to the general public hereby creating a danger of breach of peace and public order.”

“Under the dangerous tendency rule, there is inciting to sedition when the words uttered or published could easily produce disaffection among the people and a state of feeling in them incompatible with a disposition to remain loyal to the Government and obedient to the law,” it stated.

It also disagreed with the stance of Trillanes who claims parliamentary immunity.

The prosecutor’s office pointed out parliamentary immunity is “not applicable” since the statement was “not made while the Senate was in session and in connection with the discharge of his official duties as a senator.”

On September 4 2018, Trillanes was interviewed by the media and issued a statement over the decision of Duterte to issue Proclamation No. 572 which voided the amnesty given to the senator over his participation in the so-called 2003 Oakwood mutiny and 2007 Manila Peninsula siege.

In his statement, Trillanes was quoted as saying, among others: “Itong pangyayri na ito, it should be clear to everyone na si Mr. Duterte ay isang diktador. Hindi siya rumerespeto sa institusyon kaya ganito tayo. Kung yung mga ordinaryong tao pinapatay, ‘yung mga kritiko niya kinukulong, so ganyan ang kalakaran sa Pilipinas ngayon.”

“Di ko maisip na they would go to great lengths, even make themselves look stupid para lang to get rid of me. Isa lang hamon ko eh. Pumirma siya ng waiver, magkaalaman. Magreresign ako. Sabi ko papasok ako sa kulungan eh. Di mo kailangan gumawa ng ganitong kalokohan,” he also said.