A Philippine regional trial court judge has ordered the arrest of a lawmaker and key critic of President Rodrigo Duterte on four counts of libel.
Judge Melinda Dayanghirang issued four arrest warrants against Senator Antonio Trillanes yesterday for libel cases filed by Duterte’s son and son-in-law.
Bail for Trillanes was set at a total of 96,000 pesos ($1,846) for all four counts.
Paolo Duterte, a son of the president and former vice mayor of the southern city of Davao, and Manases Carpio, the president’s son-in-law, filed the charges.
The cases stem from allegations Trillanes made that linked Paolo Duterte and Carpio to the smuggling of billions of pesos worth of illegal drugs and extortion from ride-sharing companies.
There was no immediate reaction from Trillanes.
“I’m okay with this,” Paolo Duterte said on Facebook in reference to the judge’s
order. “Merry Christmas.”
Trillanes is out on bail for charges of rebellion for leading a failed coup attempt in 2007 against former president Gloria Arroyo.
He was granted amnesty for his involvement in the coup by former president Benigno Aquino in 2010, but Duterte revoked the amnesty in a proclamation in August. Trillanes has repeatedly criticised the 73-year-old president for his deadly campaign against illegal drugs that has left thousands dead.
He has also alleged that Duterte and his family have huge wealth stashed away in banks and has challenged the president to allow investigators access to his accounts.
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