Senator Antonio Trillanes accused the family of Vice President Jejomar Binay as a “family of thieves,” opening himself up to potential charges of more libel cases from the members of the family of the top runner in the May presidential race.
Trillanes hurled the accusation even as the Makati Regional Trial Court 142 issued on February 1 a warrant of arrest against him in connection with the libel case filed by former Makati Mayor Junjun Binay, son of the Vice President.
Reacting to the issuance of the warrant of arrest, Trillanes said the libel case will not stop him from running after the Binay family whom he described as a “family of thieves.”
“Pero kung ang layunin ng pamilya Binay sa kasong ito ay para tigilan ko sila sa aking pag-uusig, nagkakamali sila. Hindi ko hahayaan ang mga magnanakaw na mamuno ng ating bansa,” he said in a text message to reporters.
Trillanes’ text message was published by GMA News Online and other publications on the same day that MTRC 142 issued the warrant of arrest.
Mayor Binay, who was recently dismissed from office, filed the libel charge after Trillanes “publicly and maliciously” accused the mayor and his family of bribery and other crimes of irregularities “without factual basis.”
The basis of the complaint was the April 7 interview with Trillanes that Mayor Binay said was aired over several radio and television programs and quoted in a report on the Philippine Daily Inquirer, where the senator publicly claimed that Binay bribed the members of the 6th Division of the Court of Appeals “by paying them millions of pesos in exchange for favorable action” on the temporary restraining order against his suspension order.
In the complaint Mayor Binay said “the damaging and ruinous claims spewed out by respondent Trillanes are mere concoctions and fabrications with no other purpose than to malign, discredit, ruin my reputation and besmirch my good name as well as that of my family.” Trillanes formed the trio of senators, with Senator Alan Peter Cayetano and Senator Koko Pimentel, who hounded Vice President Binay and Mayor Junjun Binay in the yearlong investigation by the Senate Blue Ribbon sub-committee over alleged corruption in Makati City. The Vice President said the Senate probe is a “demolition by perception” aimed to derail his presidential bid.