Senate takes custody of Trillanes amid impending arrest

Senator Trillanes

Manila, Philippines – Sen. Antonio Trillanes has been placed under the custody of Senate President Vicente Sotto III to prevent his arrest following the nullification of his amnesty.

Trillanes, a former mutineer, said he received assurance from Sotto that “he will not allow any arrest” as long as Trillanes is within the Senate premises.

“I was placed in the custody of the Senate president until my lawyers file the necessary petitions before the Supreme Court to resolve this nonsense of [President Rodrigo] Duterte and [Solicitor General] Jose Calida,” Trillanes said in a televised press briefing Tuesday.

Duterte, in Proclamation 572, has declared the amnesty granted to Trillanes void citing as the basis his failure to apply for amnesty and that he “never expressed his guilt for the crimes that were committed” during the Oakwood mutiny in 2003 and Manila Peninsula siege in 2007.

In a televised interview with Senate reporters, Trillanes called the proclamation “bogus,” saying the best proof that he applied for amnesty is that he was granted it.

The military and police were also directed to arrest Trillanes.

‘We’re living in a de facto martial law’

Trillanes, one of the staunchest critics of the administration, remains unfazed.

“It’s something na di ko aatrasan. However, what we’re questioning is the principle behind it. This is a warrantless arrest so we need to fight this warrantless arrest,” he said.

Members of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group were seen at the Senate.

Trillanes also likened what is happening to the Martial Law imposed by dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

“We’re living in a de facto martial law environment of the 70s kind,” he said.

“Ito gumagawa sila ng mga, binabaluktot nila ang batas para magawa nila ang kanilang political objective which is to persecute the political opposition.”

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said that Sotto had directed that Senate sergeant of arms not to allow arresting officers inside the premises of the upper house.

“Under the Constitution, he cannot be arrested while the Congress is in session except for crimes which have penalty beyond six years. In this particular case, there is even no case with more reason that the constitutional protection will be applied as a practical remedy,” Drilon said.

Trillanes was the second opposition legislator to be ordered arrested under Duterte’s term.

Sen. Leila De Lima has been jailed for more than a year over drug-related charges.

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