MANILA - Senator Antonio Trillanes IV on Saturday apologized to the Senate leadership and its employees for the "inconvenience" brought by his nearly week-long stay in his office at the legislative building.
Trillanes has been holed up in his office since Tuesday after President Rodrigo Duterte ordered his arrest through Proclamation No. 572, which invalidated an amnesty granted to the former Navy lieutenant over his participation in two failed uprisings more than a decade ago.
Some of Trillanes' supporters have been converging at the Senate's corridors to rally behind the embattled lawmaker. Some even slept either inside the senator's office or other nearby rooms amid news that an arrest was forthcoming.
"Admittedly, during the first few days, talagang naga-adjust lahat, medyo naging messy a bit," Trillanes told reporters.
(Admittedly, during the first few days, we really had to adjust so the situation here was a bit messy.)
"I take all the blame for that, so humihingi po ako ng dispensa sa Senate leadership, particularly kay Senator (Vicente) Sotto for the inconvenience sa Senate employees and the Senate in general," he said.
(I take the blame for that that's why I am apologizing to the Senate leadership, particularly to [Senate President] Sotto, Senate employees and the Senate in general for the inconvenience.)
Senate President Vicente Sotto III on Friday banned the convergence of political supporters inside the Senate building. A 12-hour visiting schedule (between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.) was also enforced.
"I respect the decision of the Senate leadership and I will abide by the policies," Trillanes said.
Trillanes said he had no qualms about the stricter protocol as it was "set up for his security and welfare."
"Nag-set-up lang ng system para din sa security ko at welfare kasi nga naman baka mayroong mag-pretend to be a visitor pero 'yun naman pala ay iba ang hangarin at malusutan pa, ang mabe-blame pa ay y'ung Sergeant-at-Arms," he said.
(They set up a system for my security and welfare because people with ill intentions might pose as my supporters. If that happens then the blame will be on the Sergeant-at-Arms.)
"So I totally respect that from a purely security standpoint. Ayaw din naman nating ma-perwisyo 'yung ibang Senate operations," he said.
(We also don't want to impede other Senate operations.)
The senator downplayed observations that the Senate is incurring additional bills due to his prolonged stay in his office.
"The way I understand it, itong mga ilaw sa hallway and offices 24/7 talaga 'yan kasi for security purposes," he said.
(The way I understand it, lights along the hallways and in offices are really switched on 24/7 because of security purposes.)
"'Yang air-conditioning, ino-off 'yan so sa'kin, ako nag-aabide ako sa policies na 'yan," he said.
(The air-conditioning here is turned off (in the evening) and I abide by those policies.)
Trillanes is expected to stay in his office until the Supreme Court resolves his petition against Duterte's proclamation.
The senator asked the high court to nullify Duterte's order, arguing that the executive branch has no power to issue arrest warrants.