Makati court finds Trillanes guilty of Libel

Makati court finds Trillanes guilty of Libel

 


Former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV’s 2022 political dream hit a major setback.

A Makati city court found the former senator guilty of libel for linking a former city mayor in the capital region to corruption allegations in 2015.

Former senator Antonio Trillanes IV was found guilty of libel by Makati City Judge Andres Bartolome-Soriano who ruled the ex-lawmaker had relied on unverified information for accusing Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr. of bribery.

(photo credit to owner)




The former senator accused Binay, who was the former mayor of Manila’s business district, of bribing two Court of Appeals justices to lift his suspension order filed before the Office of the Ombudsman. Trillanes will appeal the ruling.

Trillanes is ordered by the court to pay a fine amounting to P100,000 fine under the Revised Penal Code(RPC). A separate P500,000 fine was imposed for moral damages to the former mayor, the son of a former vice president.

The judge said Trillanes cannot use as a “cloak the right to freedom of expression or speech.”

“Every person must, in the exercise of his rights and in the performance of his duties, act with justice, give everyone his due, and observe honesty and good faith,” the judge said in his ruling. “The accused right to freedom of expression must be exercised responsibly.”

Trillanes in 2015 said Binay was involved in the “Justice for Sale” scheme in which he claimed to have received solid information for his allegations.

He also said the Binay family, which rose to power in 1986, shelled out “huge” funds for the injunction, calling the political clan a “syndicate.”

A complaint was filed against Trillanes, after the later issued statements in various radio and television interviews that attacked his “honor, integrity, character, and reputation,” exposing the public official “to hatred, contempt, and public ridicule, to his damage and prejudice.”

The opposition stalwart remains true to his claims and said the court verdict was “the price to pay for standing up against very powerful people.” He also promised to exhaust all legal means to overturn the ruling.

“We will not let this legal setback discourage us in pursuing our advocacy to purge our government of corrupt and abusive public officials,” Trillanes said.

 

 

 

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