BY VICTOR REYES and ASHZEL HACHERO
FORMER Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV yesterday posted bail for sedition even as he stressed the case was part of the Duterte administration’s persecution of political opposition leaders.
Trillanes, accompanied by lawyer Rey Robles, posted the bail of P10,000 before the Quezon City Metropolitan Trial Court branch 138 which issued an arrest warrant last Friday against him and his eight other co-accused.
Trillanes has been slapped with sedition charges over the viral video series “Ang Totoong Narcolist” that linked President Duterte and members of his family to the illegal drugs trade.
Trillanes went straight to the QC Metropolitan Trial court after his arrival from the US.
The former senator arrived at around 7 a.m. at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport terminal 3 onboard Qatar Airways.
The court set the arraignment of Trillanes and his co-accused as well as the pre-trial on March 17 at 2 p.m.
On Monday, Trillanes’ co-accused, Peter Joemel Advincula alias Bikoy also posted bail for his temporary liberty.
Aside from Trillanes and Advincula also indicted were Joel Saracho, Boom Enriquez, a certain “Monique,” Yolanda Villanueva Ong, Vicente Romano III, Fr. Albert Alejo, Fr. Flaviano Villanueva, Jonnel Sangalang and Eduardo Acierto. Two of the accused have yet to post bail – Romano and Acierto.
In an interview after he posted bail, Trillanes said the case is “new proof of the continuing political persecution by the Duterte administration against his critics and political opposition.”
Trillanes noted that the conspiracy to commit sedition case he is now facing before the Quezon City court is the 19th complaint filed against him during the Duterte administration.
The former senator is facing a string of cases in various courts, among them the rebellion case pending before Branch 150 of the Makati RTC in connection with the 2007 Manila Peninsula siege, inciting to sedition charges before Branch 45 of the Pasay City Metropolitan Trial Court for his remarks on Duterte’s alleged hidden wealth, and a libel case before the Davao city RTC filed by Duterte’s son Rep. Paolo Duterte and his son-in-law Manases Carpio.
Trillanes said he returned to the country to face the case “because I’m not scared” of the government’s persecution.
“Pero sana lang itong mga gumagawa nitong mga kaso na ito, itong mga nang-aapi, sana huwag rin kayong matakot balang araw ha kasi talagang hindi ko rin kayo titigilan (I hope the people behind this case, those behind this oppression will not be scared in the future because I’m going to pursue them non-stop),” he said.
Asked to name names, Trillanes pointed to President Duterte and former presidential assistance now Sen. Christopher Go.
“Iyang mga ‘yan, pasiga-siga ‘yang mga ‘yan ngayon. Pag wala na ‘yan sa pwesto si Duterte, tingnan niyo ha, mark my word, hindi ‘yan haharap sa ganito. (They are bullies now. Once Duterte steps down, you’ll see, mark my word, they are not going face processes like this),” he said.