LABOR Undersecretary Jacinto “Jing” V. Paras and two others filed a complaint against Senator Antonio Trillanes IV accusing him of violating the Revised Penal Code Art. 142 Inciting to Sedition and Art. 136 Proposal to Commit Coup d’ etat.
In the complaint filed at the Office of the City Prosecutor in Pasay City, it was alleged that statements Trillanes made against President Rodrigo Roa Duterte during an interview with reporters on September 4, 2018 was clear evidence of inciting sedition.
“He maligned the President by calling him insane, murderer, stupid, corrupt, incompetent thereby encouraging the soldiers to lose trust and withdraw support to their commander-in-chief, who is the President and by doing this, Trillanes will be able to lead in the murder of the President and overthrow his government,” Paras said in an interview.
The complaint argues that Trillanes’ statement against President Duterte could not be covered under freedom of expression, citing “The People of the Philippine Islands v. Isaac Perez, G.R. No. L 21049, December 22, 1923, the Supreme Court.”
Justice Malcom was quoted thus: “Criticism, no matter how severe, on the Executive, the Legislature, and the Judiciary is within the range of liberty of speech, unless the intention and effect be seditious.”
In item 14 of the complaint, Trillanes was quoted as saying “…it should be clear to everyone na si Mr. Duterte ay isang diktador. Hindi siya rumerespeto sa institusyon kaya ganito tayo. Kung yung mga ordinaryong tao pinapatay, yung mga kritiko ikukulong, so ganyan ang kalakaran sa Pilipinas ngayon.” (English translation, “…it should be clear to everyone that Mr. Duterte is a dictator. He doesn’t respect the institution that is why we are this way. If ordinary people are ordered killed, critics are being imprisoned, this is how things are in the Philippines these days.”)
Trillanes was also quoted as saying, “Di ko maisip na they would go to great lengths, even make themselves look stupid para lang to get rid of me.” (English translation, “I didn’t expect they’d go through great lengths, even make themselves look stupid, just to get rid of me.”
Furthermore, the complaint cited Trillanes for calling on the military and the police not to follow President Duterte’s orders. Trillanes was quoted as saying, “Duterte will not be there for long, please do not do anything illegal or unconstitutional.”
The complaint filed by Paras et al said “Trillanes’ intemperate use of profane, foul, vile, seditious words or language, and resort to scurrilous libels against the President or the government, his ardent call on the military and the police to disobey the order of the latter, as well as his stealthy proposal to the armed forces to launch a coup… constitute the crimes of inciting to sedition and proposal to commit coup d’etat.”