Trillanes' arrest a constitutional problem, Biazon says

Trillanes' arrest a constitutional problem, Biazon says

The Makati Regional Trial Court issued the arrest warrant after the country's Supreme Court refused to back the senator over the validity of the amnesty.

Senator Antonio Trillanes IV answers questions from reporters at a news briefing outside the senator's office at the Senate in Pasay City on Thursday, September 6, 2018.

The prosecution led by Acting Prosecutor General Richard Anthony Fadullon presented a certification dated August 30, 2018, issued and signed by one Lt. Gen. Thea Joan Andrade of the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Discipline, Law and Order Division to prove that the senator failed to apply for an amnesty.

The trial court said with Trillanes' amnesty being declared void "ab initio", it has regained jurisdiction to hear and resolve the case despite its dismissal on September 7, 2011.

NCRPO chief Police Director Guillermo Eleazar, fetched Trillanes at the parking lot of the Senate, where he had been holed up since President Duterte nullified his amnesty. "Whatever Sen. Antonio Trillanes has to say can be addressed to the court", Presidential Spokesman Harry L. Roque Jr. said.

The Makati RTC Branch 150 is handling the rebellion case against Trillanes over his involvement in the Oakwood mutiny.

The arrest followed a revocation by Duterte last month of a 2010 amnesty granted to Trillanes for his role in two coup attempts in the mid-2000s.

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The DOJ has a similar pending motion before Makati RTC Branch 148, which is handling the coup d'etat case over the lawmaker's involvement in the Oakwood mutiny.

"Natalo ang demokrasya [Democracy lost]...even after we submitted evidence to debunk the rebellion charges", Trillanes said, noting that he was granted amnesty for the alleged offense "seven years ago".

Bigger legal trouble could still await Trillanes because he could be arrested on another charge, stemming from a separate coup attempt, that does not have the possibility of bail. "Proclamation No. 572 was precisely issued to rectify the erroneous grant of amnesty to accused to Trillanes due to his failure to comply with the basis minimum requirements of filing his application and the admission stated in the said application of his guilt of the acts/crimes covered by the amnesty", the judge said. "The threats and intimidation are already excessive", Sen.

"It is the people that are forgotten while they are trying to silence Sen. Trillanes" detention could have a "chilling affect" on other critics, Conde wrote. "This is clearly Mr Duterte silencing his political critics, those who tell the truth".

Duterte's critics have accused him of trying to distract the public and prioritising a settling of scores rather than tackling issues such as inflation, accusations his office rejects.

"Beyond the President's intolerance of opposition politics, it exposes the depth of his paranoia and fear of dissent", added the senator.

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