Senator Antonio Trillanes 4th on Thursday personally went to the Department of Justice (DOJ), asking to junk a libel complaint filed against him by stating that he cannot be sued as a senator because of his “parliamentary immunity” and that only the Senate can discipline him.
The case stemmed from Trillanes’ interview with the media accusing Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay Jr. of bribing Court of Appeals Justices Jose Reyes and Francisco Acosta with P25 million each in exchange for favorable resolutions on Binay’s case pending before the CA.
In a 44-page counter-affidavit, the senator invoked “parliamentary immunity” as enshrined under the 1987 Constitution arguing that his statements were made “while in lawful performance of his duties.”
He said Binay’s complaint is “premature” since there are still ongoing investigations before the CA and Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights involving the same bribery case.
According to him, only the Senate, not the executive department or the courts, has the “exclusive power, authority and jurisdiction” over him.
Trillanes said while he was sued for libel, media entities were not despite having published or aired the same statements.
He added that Binay is guilty of “forum shopping” since the case was filed not only with the DOJ, but also with the CA in a contempt case in order to gain a favorable ruling.