Trillanes ready to face charges, 'not intimidated' by Binay family

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(File photo) Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, in an interview in CNN Philippines, said convicting Vice President Jejomar Binay and his kin is not a personal crusade.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Following the issuance of an arrest warrant by Makati Regional Trial Court against him, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV affirmed his readiness to continue his fight in exposing alleged anomalies in Makati.

In a text message to media on Monday afternoon (February 1), Trillanes said Vice President Jejomar Binay’s family would not intimidate him.

“If the Binay family believes that I can be intimidated and threatened from exposing them, they are badly mistaken. I will do everything I can to make sure that plunderers will not rule this country again,” Trillanes said.

The court ordered Trillanes' arrest on Monday in connection with the libel case filed against him by dismissed Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin "Junjun" Binay Jr.

The case for Libel stemmed from the statement made by the senator that the younger Binay allegedly bribed the justices of the Court of Appeals with P50 million to obtain a restraining order and writ of preliminary injunction to stop his suspension.

Trillanes’ lawyer, Atty. Reynaldo Robles, said: “Sen. Trillanes will readily face the charges against him in court.”

According to Robles, Trillanes is on official trip abroad attending an international forum. But the moment the senator arrives, “he will voluntarily submit himself to the jurisdiction of the Honorable Court, if so required”.

Robles also pointed out, any attempt to intimidate his client will not succeed. 

"In 2003, Sen. Trillanes was jailed for exposing anomalies in the government. I believe he is ready to face any consequence, including facing malicious cases and possible imprisonment, just to let the people know the truth regarding the massive corruption in Makati.”

“This is especially true since Sen. Trillanes' exposés about corruption are well within the scope of his mandate and his immunity as Senator of the Republic,” Robles further explained.

According to the Philippine National Police (PNP), the Makati PNP has yet to receive a copy of the warrant against Trillanes.

PNP spokesman, CSupt. Wilben Mayor said “They will serve the warrant if the court will tell them to do so.”

Vindication for Binay?

Binay’s lawyer, Atty. Claro Certeza, in a statement said Justice department’s finding of probable cause for the indictment of Sen. Trillanes for libel “is a clear vindication of what VP Binay has been saying all along – that the accusations made against him and members of his family are lies and politically motivated.”

The libel case was originally filed with the Makati Prosecutors Office last year.

Sen. Trillanes requested that the case be transferred to the Department of Justice (DOJ) alleging that the Makati City Prosecutor is biased towards Mayor Junjun Binay.

“But even with the transfer of the case to the DOJ, whom Sen. Trillanes stated will give him an unbiased determination of his case, the finding was that his bribery charges have no basis and hence, the finding of probable cause to charge and arrest him for the crime of Libel,” Certeza said.

According to Binay’s lawyer, the senator “and his cohorts” resorted to trial by publicity to destroy the reputation of the vice president and derail his bid for the presidency.

“The vice president will face all his accusers in court and prove that all the accusations hurled against him are false,” Certeza said.

Trillanes’s camp said they have yet to receive the official copy of the investigating prosecutor’s resolution on the libel suit. 

According to Robles, they would file an appeal or a motion for reconsideration to the DOJ if needed.

CNN Philippines Anna Estanislao, Joyce Ilas, and Gerg Cahilles contributed to this report.