Trillanes arraignment for sedition set Mar. 17

February 16, 2020

Former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV will be arraigned for inciting to sedition on March 17.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra revealed this over the weekend shortly after the Quezon City metropolitan trial court  Branch 138 ordered last Friday the arrest of Trillanes and 10 others in connection with the “Ang totoong narcolist” videos.

“ Arrest warrants have been issued vs Trillanes, et al. Arraignment on March 17,” Guevarra said.  

For his part, Trillanes vowed to face the suit, which was recently filed against him.  

“I will face this case just as I have faced all the other harassment cases...” Trillanes said in a message to reporters.  

“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,” he continued.

Recently, the Department of Justice has indicted Trillanes and 10 other individuals over the viral videos after probable cause was established against them during preliminary investigation on the complaints filed by the Philippine National Police.  

Aside from Trillanes, also indicted were Joenel Peter Advincula alias Bikoy, Joel Saracho, Boom Enriquez, a certain @Monique, Yolanda V. Ong, Vicente Romano III, Fr. Albert E. Alejo, Fr. Flaviano Villanueva, Jonnel P. Sangalang, and Eduardo Acierto.

Citing Article 141 of the Revised Penal Code, the DoJ said criminal liability arises for individuals who conspire or agree to raise commotions and disturbances to attain by force, intimidation, or any other means outside of the legal methods any of the following objectives:

a) to prevent the promulgation or execution of any law or the holding of any popular election;  b) to prevent the National Government, or any Provincial or Municipal Government, or any public officer thereof, from freely exercising its or his functions, or prevent the execution of any administrative order; c) to inflict any act of hate or revenge upon the person or property of any public officer or employee; d) to commit, for any political or social end, any act of hate or revenge against private persons or any social class; and e) to despoil, for any political or social end, any person, municipality or province, or the National Government of all its property or any part thereof.  

The panel of prosecutors explained that the following “interlocking pieces of proof” provide a “complete picture of the grand conspiracy between and among some respondents to create hatred or revenge against the President and his family with the end in view of toppling and destabilizing the current administration.”

1. The online publication of the Bikoy videos.  The videos, divided into six episodes, insinuated that members of the President’s family and political allies were receiving pay-offs from drug syndicates.  These videos, the Panel found, were made by respondents Advincula; Saracho (who acted as their narrator); Enriquez (videographer) and his assistant, @Monique; Ong and Romano (scriptwriters).  The Panel likewise found that Fr. Alejo prepared the JesCom where the videos were taken;

2. The press conference of respondent Advincula at the Integrated Bar of the Philippines where he, among others, admitted to being “Bikoy,” the supposed whistle blower featured in the videos;

3. The press statement of respondent Acierto on 25 March 2019 where he accused the President, his family and his close associates of supposed links to drugs and drug syndicates; and

4. Admissions made by respondents, especially the allegations of Advincula and certain admissions of former Senator Trillanes which bolster the “existence of a grand conspiracy between and among some respondents to commit the crime of sedition.”#