Nothing unusual with police presence at Senate, says Albayalde


Posted at Sep 08 2018 03:57 PM

Police officers are seen at the Manila Film Center, close to the Senate building in Pasay City on Friday, September 7, 2018. George Calvelo, ABS CBN News

MANILA - Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Oscar Albayalde on Saturday asserted that there is nothing unusual with the presence of police officers at the Senate grounds as Senator Antonio Trillanes IV remained holed up in his office. 

Amid Trillanes' possible arrest after President Rodrigo Duterte voided his amnesty, Albayalde explained that a team of police officers has been deployed at the Senate on a regular basis.

"Everything is normal. 'Yung presence ng PNP dun sa Senate is to maintain peace and order. Ayaw lang kasi natin na mayroon makasingit diyan or may grupo na mag-take advantage nitong situation," he told reporters in Camp Crame, Quezon City.

(The PNP is there at the Senate to maintain peace and order because we don't want to miss anything or for a group to take advantage of the situation.)

"Mayroon talaga tayong nakatalagang pulis sa Senate so there's nothing unusual sa presence natin dun sa Senate," he added.

(There are really policemen deployed at the Senate so there is nothing unusual about our presence at the Senate.)

More police officers were spotted near the Senate on Friday amid rumors of Trillanes' possible arrest.

Trillanes has been staying in his office at the Senate since Tuesday, when Duterte's Proclamation No. 572, signed on August 31, was made public. 

The order effectively revived criminal cases against him for uprisings he led against government in 2003 and 2007.

Under Senate protocol, arrests within the chamber’s premises must be coordinated either with the Senate President or the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms.

Asked about the presence of members of the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) at the Senate, Albayalde said only one team has been deployed for security reasons.

"Hindi lang naman para kay Sen. Trillanes 'yan but of course kung lumabas man 'yung warrant anytime, puwede i-serve ng CIDG yan," the PNP chief said.

(That is not just for Sen. Trillanes but of course if a warrant comes out anytime, the CIDG can serve it.)

Supporters and visitors of Trillanes have been going in-and-out of the Senate since Tuesday, holding vigils and masses in support of the former Navy lieutenant.

The Senate on Friday laid down a 12-hour visiting rule for Trillanes.

Trillanes earlier claimed that the police and military still have orders to arrest him. This even as the President has said he would defer to the judiciary in ruling on the validity of his proclamation. 

The senator has a pending petition before the Supreme Court questioning the voiding of his amnesty.