Trillanes sued for inciting to sedition over anti-Duterte remarks

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 15) — A fresh complaint is heading Senator Antonio "Sonny" Trillanes IV's way.  

Labor Undersecretary Jacinto Paras on Friday has filed inciting to sedition charges against Trillanes, who is still under Senate custody due to an amnesty row with the administration.  

Paras filed the new complaint at the Pasay City Prosecutor's Office.

Under the country's Revised Penal Code, inciting to sedition refers to a crime committed by someone who "incites others to the accomplishment of any of the acts which constitute sedition, by means of speeches, proclamations, writings, emblems, cartoons, banners, or other representations tending to the same end."

The charge can also cover those who "utter seditious words or speeches, write, publish, or circulate scurrilous libel against the Republic of the Philippines or any of the duly constituted authorities thereof, or which tend to disturb or obstruct any lawful officer in executing the functions of his office, or which tend to instigate others to cabal and meet together for unlawful purposes, or which suggest or incite people against the lawful authorities or to disturb the peace of the community, the safety and order of the Government."

In his complaint, the undersecretary cited Trillanes' seditious remarks against President Rodrigo Duterte and the current administration during his recent interviews at the Senate.

The complaint adds up to the legal woes of the embattled senator, who is currently looking to stop the implementation of Duterte's Proclamation No. 572.

The order, dated August 31, says the amnesty granted to Trillanes was null and void from the beginning. 

Trillanes has been staying at the Senate since September 4 when the presidential proclamation was published in newspapers. He was advised by the Senate leadership and his lawyers to stay within the premises to avoid any possible arrest.

The Makati Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 150 on Friday deferred the arrest and travel ban order against Trillanes. Makati RTC Branch 150 Judge Elmo Alameda had asked the Department of Justice reply within five days on Trillanes' comments.

Earlier in the week, Judge Andres Soriano of the Makati RTC Branch 148 ordered Trillanes to file within 10 days his rejoinder to the newly-submitted pleading of the Department of Justice (DOJ).