• The Court of Appeals found Senator Trillanes guilty of indirect contempt
• Trillanes said he will appeal the decision of the Court of Appeals
• The senator was fined P30,000
Senator Antonio Trillanes IV said he will appeal the decision by the Court of Appeals (CA) finding him guilty of indirect contempt for alleging that two CA justices received bribes in exchange for a decision favorable to ex-Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay.
In a statement issued by his Senate office, Senator Trillanes said: “We have yet to receive the CA decision,” but assuming it’s true, he will appeal. “As far as I’m concerned, I merely performed my duty as a senator of the republic in exposing corruption in government. More importantly, the allegation was not made through a press statement but was, in fact, the principal subject of a Senate resolution calling for a legislative inquiry.”
The Binay camp, however, said that Senator Trillanes used his office to bully persons and malign institutions.
As noted in an InterAksyon article dated May 24, 2016, the remarks made by the senator were not covered by parliamentary immunity because he said the statement in press interviews.
The CA decision penned by Associate Justice Stephen Cruz reads: “Truly, he was a senator when he made those malicious and baseless imputations against this court and some of its justices. His position, however, does not suffice to exculpate him from liability. Unfortunately, he failed to show that he was in exercise of his official functions when he uttered the same. Accordingly, he cannot be saved by his parliamentary immunity and he cannot escape liability for making an attack on the integrity and credibility of the justices of the Court of Appeals which tend to degrade the dignity of this court and erode public confidence that should be accorded to it. Simply put, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV is, under the attending circumstances, not above the law.”
Trillanes was fined P30,000 by the court.