MANILA A Davao City court turned down prosecutors' request for the issuance of a hold departure order (HDO) against Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, who is facing libel raps before the said tribunal.
"All told, this court finds that accused Antonio Trillanes IV is not a flight risk and that he will abide with the conditions imposed for his provisional liberty including his appearance before this Court when required," Davao City Regional Trial Court Branch 54 Judge Melinda Alconcel-Dayanghirang said in an order dated Dec. 12, 2018 released on Tuesday.
The judge noted that Trillanes' travels were allowed by Senate President Vicente Sotto III.
"While it is true that the accused has already left the country on December 11, 2018 and thus beyond the reach of this Court, however, the said travel is supported by Travel Order 2018-SR-090 (PS-OIRP) dated October 8, 2018 issued by Senate President Vicente Sotto III. The accused's succeeding travel on January 27 to February 10, 2019 is likewise with authority of the Senate President," the magistrate said.
The court explained that from its viewpoint, the trips or speaking engagements abroad "cannot be equated to flight or the voluntary withdrawal by the accused in order to avoid continuance of the criminal proceedings". (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency