MANILA -- President Rodrigo Duterte said Tuesday he was giving critics "the time of their lives to just talk," answering allegations that he was cracking down on dissent.
Duterte said he had not signed "anything ordering the arrest or silencing of anybody in government."
The President's most vocal critic, Senator Antonio Trillanes, is fighting off possible arrest after Duterte withdrew the former Navy lieutenant's pardon over 2 failed military uprisings.
"The fact that they are doing it everyday only goes to show that I’m giving them the time of their lives to just talk," Duterte said in a televised interview with Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo.
"It’s an invented phrase kasi iyang silencing."
Before Trillanes, Sen. Leila de Lima, who was also critical of Duterte, was detained earlier this year on drug-dealing charges.
According to Duterte's proclamation, Trillanes’ amnesty was void from the beginning because the lawmaker did not apply for it officially and "never expressed his guilt for the crimes that were committed."
"Iyung kay Trillanes, may nakita kasi si [Solicitor General Jose] Calida na mali, pagka mali, mali is mali, hindi mo talaga ma-correct iyan," Duterte said.
(Calida found something very wrong in Trillanes' case which cannot be corrected.)
Trillanes faced charges of coup d'etat and rebellion before 2 Makati courts and court martial proceedings for allegedly leading failed military uprisings in 2003 and 2007 against then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.