Panelo: Trillanes has no choice but to appear in court, or get arrested

Published January 15, 2019, 6:16 PM

by Francine Ciasico

By Genalyn Kabiling

Senator Antonio Trillanes IV has no choice but to face the libel complaint filed against him in Davao City or else risk getting arrested, Malacañang said Tuesday.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo (OPS / MANILA BULLETIN)
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said Trillanes should just consult his lawyer and prepare his defense from the libel charges after “pompously” claiming he was unafraid of the complaint.

“Ang sabi niya, I’m here to face the challenge. Meaning, ibig niyang sabihin, puwede naman siyang hindi magpunta, parang iyon ang ibig niyang sabihin, parang pinakita niya, since nandito ako, nakita n’yo naman. Tinanggap ko ang hamon [He said, ‘I’m here to face the challenge.’ Meaning, he could have skipped it but instead tried to show the world that ‘I am here. I have accepted the challenge’],” Panelo said during a Palace press briefing.

“Ang sagot ko naman sa kanya, wala ka namang choice. Dahil kung hindi ka pumunta roon eh baka naaresto ka na kaagad [My response to him is ‘You do not have choice because if you fail to appear before court, you could have been immediately arrested],” he added.

Trillanes appeared before the Davao court hearing the libel complaints filed against him by President Duterte’s son former Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte and his son-in-law lawyer Maneses Carpio.

The former rebel soldier pleaded not guilty to the charges, saying the cases were a form of harassment against him.

Panelo said Trillanes was actually scared of landing in jail again.

“The problem with this guy is like he pompously claims to be unafraid of the criminal charges against him and yet his body language, his rantings against the President show the opposite. He is in mortal fear of going back to jail,” he said.

He also maintained the Palace has nothing to do with libel complaint filed against Trillanes.

“You must remember that the charges have been filed in court because the court found probable cause, iyan ang importante diyan. Hindi pupuwede iyong palaging sasabihin na, ‘Itong dinemanda ng administrasyon [He cannot always say the administration was behind the complaint],” he said.

“Hindi naman administrasyon ang nagdemanda sa kaniya sa Davao eh [The administration did not file the complaint against him in Davao] it’s former Vice Mayor Pulong Duterte and Attorney Mans Carpio,” he added.