2 new lawsuits

-Pulong files 2 more libel cases against Trillanes

Two more  libel cases were filed against Senator Antonio Trillanes before the Office of the City Prosecutor (OCP) regarding the legislator’s linking of former vice mayor Paolo Duterte with the P6.4 million shabu shipment that slipped past the Bureau of Customs last year.

In a press conference, lawyer Rainier L. Madrid, the legal counsel of Duterte, announced that the two libel cases were filed yesterday afternoon based on the interview Trillanes gave to Anthony Taberna and Gerry Baja that aired on DZMM on June 6 this year, and another interview with Pinky Webb on June 14.

Earlier this month, Duterte and his brother-in-law Manases Carpio also filed a libel case against Trillanes who accused them of extorting Uber and other companies regulated by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, Road Board and Department of Public Works and Highways.

Madrid explained that he sought the help of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) for the investigation, and not the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), because the former has been recently empowered to exercise subpoena powers through the Republic Act 10973.

The CIDG started the investigation in late June but “it is only now that the CIDG has completed its investigation. We have filed these cases down and it’s too bad that it has joined the amnesty issue.”

“We did not target to join this amnesty issue but I know Trillanes will once again say that this is part of the harassment,” he added.

Madrid said they filed the case in Davao City because the younger Duterte is a resident here. According to the rules, the complainant is given the choice of jurisdiction either in the place of publication or the residence of the offended party.

He also scoffed at the motion by Trillanes to move the case to Manila, citing possible influence of the Dutertes in the legal system here.

“We, as residents have to rely on the system. You cannot just simply say that when things go against you, you will cry for a change in venue,” said Madrid.

On record, there are now three libel cases filed by the former vice mayor and one libel case filed by Carpio.

While Trillanes was declared “persona non grata” in Davao City, Madrid said it’s his duty to follow the subpoena and appear before the court here.

Duterte was not present in the press conference as Madrid advised him to skip the event to avoid being misquoted.