Trillanes charged for allegedly threatening undersecretary’s life

Senator Antonio Trillanes IV answering questions from reporters. (Photo: Jonathan Cellona of ABS-CBN News)
Senator Antonio Trillanes IV answering questions from reporters. (Photo: Jonathan Cellona of ABS-CBN News)

Opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes IV is about to face a new court case, this time for allegedly threatening an undersecretary of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

The Pasay City Prosecutor’s Office today charged Trillanes with grave threats for allegedly saying that he was going to “finish” Undersecretary Jacinto Paras when they saw each other at the Senate’s premises on May 29, 2018.

What the senator allegedly said sounded like it was something that a movie villain would say.

The Philippine Daily Inquirer reported that Trillanes allegedly said to Paras: “Ang lakas ng loob mo. Hindi magtatagal ang amo mo. Matatapos din yan. Yayariin kita. Mercenaryo ka. Yayariin kita. Patawa tawa ka pa may araw ka din, yayariin kita.”

This translates into: “You’re so brave. Your boss won’t last long. This will end. I will finish you. You’re a mercenary. I will finish you. You’re laughing now but you will have your day, I will finish you.

Sheesh, politics can get so intense.

Paras was spooked by what Trillanes said and according to The Philippine Star, the undersecretary’s complaint shows that he took it as a death threat.

It was apparently so bad that it allegedly created “fear and anxiety” on his mind, said Assistant City Prosecutor Janette Herpas-Baggas.

The senator allegedly delivered the threat after he approached Paras at the sidelines during the Senate hearing on the Oversight Committee on Overseas Foreign Workers, reported the Philippine Star. The face-off got so heated that Senator Miguel Zubiri had to pacify Trillanes, the same source said.

Paras said the threat was due to the inciting to sedition charges that he and other members of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) filed against the senator. Trillanes was sued for allegedly asking soldiers to shoot President Rodrigo Duterte if it was proven that he had hidden wealth, reported CNN Philippines.

VACC is an anti-crime group that supports Duterte’s policies and has filed complaints against people perceived to be critical of the government.

ABS-CBN News reported that prosecutors found probable cause against Trillanes, and said that “there is reasonable ground to believe that the crime charged has been committed and that accused is probably guilty.”

Trillanes, who just arrived from an overseas trip on Wednesday, said that he would face the charge “squarely.” His arraignment has been scheduled for Feb. 15.

Fortunately for him, he can post bail for PHP36,000 (US$690.17).

At present, Trillanes has a long list of legal woes. He will also be tried for rebellion by a Makati court and was sued for libel by the president’s son, former Davao City vice mayor Paolo Duterte.

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