By Jeffrey Damicog
Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV should ask permission whenever he intends to leave the country even if a court issued no hold departure order (HDO) against him, said Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra.
“Even if no hold departure order was issued by the court before he could fly to his foreign destination he should have asked leave of court to travel,” he said as Trillanes remains out of the country and is expected to return by January 11.
“That’s SOP (standard operating procedure) in all criminal cases when the accused would have to go to a place outside the jurisdiction of the courts kasi wala ng habol ang court (the court can’t run after him) if the accused is outside the jurisdiction of the Philippine territory,” he explained.
The Secretary pointed out asking permission is “out of courtesy for the court also.”
“Because he’ll be away and the court may set hearings and he’ll not be around so you have to inform the court that you will be outside the jurisdiction of the court,” he added.
Among the courts where he is facing charges, Judge Andres Soriano of Makati City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 148 has so far issued an HDO against Trillanes.
Soriano is handling the coup d’etat case against Trillanes concerning his participation in the 2003 Oakwood mutiny.
The magistrate has already granted the motion of Trillanes who sought permission to go to Europe and the United States.
Trillanes, who posted a P200,000 travel bond, left on Dec. 11 for Europe where he will be traveling to the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom.
The senator is expected to return to the Philippines by Jan. 11, 2019 and then fly again to the US from Jan 27 to Feb. 10, 2019.
The lawmaker informed the court that his trip to Europe is part of his official duties.
Part of his itinerary included delivering a lecture at the Universiteit van Amsterdam on “Democracy and the Rule of Law in the Philippines on Dec. 13.
He said he was also invited by various groups to go to California, Washington D.C. and Maryland.