MANILA - Malacañang on Tuesday told Senator Antonio Trillanes IV to stop playing the “victim” as the fierce opposition lawmaker remained defiant after being arrested for rebellion charges following the revocation of his amnesty.
“Senator Antonio Trillanes IV has once again played the victim card, resorting to ad hominem attacks against the President. We ask the lawmaker, instead of facing the cameras, to focus his time and energy in preparing his legal defense,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement.
“He should view this as a welcome opportunity to submit his evidence that will prove that the grant of amnesty to him was valid.”
Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo, meanwhile, told Trillanes to “face the music” as he vouched for the integrity of the judge that ordered the senator’s arrest.
“The order is anchored on solid legal ground. Trillanes should face the music and dance as Frank Sinatra would croon in his song with the same title,” Panelo said.
“He has to stop milking the issue and act pathetically as if he is a victim of injustice. The law of Karma as well as of the law has finally caught up with his shenanigans. He has been using his position as senator in planting the seeds of hate and sedition against PRRD (President Rodrigo Duterte) and the government. Judge Alameda is a no-nonsense judge who has a reputation for independence and probity.”
Trillanes said he would remain at the Senate after posting bail at a Makati court following his arrest and subsequent release.
This as he expressed frustration at the judiciary, saying it had succumbed to the executive's pressure.
"Nakakadismaya na itong ating hudikatura ay tumiklop sa pressure nitong diktador na si Mr. (Rodrigo) Duterte," Trillanes told reporters at the Senate.
(I'm disappointed that our judiciary gave in to the pressure of the dictator Mr. Duterte.)
"Wala na eh, as it is, milagro ang inaantay natin from (Makati Regional Trial Court) Branch 148 (There's nothing more to expect as it is, we're just waiting for a miracle from Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 148.) We're kumbaga, slightly more hopeful but we have to expect for the worst."
Trillanes immediately returned to the Senate after posting a P200,000 bail for temporary liberty while on trial for rebellion over the 2007 Manila Peninsula siege, among criminal charges against him revived after President Rodrigo Duterte voided his 2011 amnesty.
He is also facing separate coup d'etat charges at the Makati RTC Branch 148 for leading a mutiny at the Oakwood Premier hotel in Makati City in 2003.
Trillanes has been staying at his Senate office since September 4, when Duterte's proclamation voiding his amnesty was made public.
Trillanes said he believes Duterte had a hand in the court's order for his arrest.
"That’s very obvious. Ito talagang ginagamit niya na 'yung impluwensiya ng kaniyang opisina para baluktutin ang kailangan baluktutin para magawa at makamit ang kagustuhan niya," he said.
(He's really using the influence of his office to twist everything he wants to achieve.)
"Sabi nga ng mga kababayan natin ang problema ngayon ang ekonomiya pero na-obsess siya sakin eh, kailangan niya kong iligpit."
(Our fellow Filipinos say our current problem is the economy but he became obsessed with me, he has to get rid of me.)
Despite this, the mutineer-turned-senator said he remains hopeful.
"'Yung confidence ko is coming from the fact na sa kasaysayan ng mundo, hindi po nanaig ang kasamaan, never. Kaya they may have small victories but in the end, mark me, matatalo 'yung kasamaan," he said.
(My confidence comes from the fact that in the history of the world, evil never prevailed. They may have small victories but in the end, mark me, evil will be defeated.)
When asked for his message to Duterte, Trillanes said the President should have paid attention to booking procedures at the police precinct because he might face the same in the future.
"Sana sinubaybayan niya 'yung proseso dahil gagawin at gagawin niya 'yun. Yung i-book siya at aarestuhin siya. Ako mga 10 to 12 times na kong nag-ganiyan," he said.
(I hope he paid attention to the process because he will to the same. He will undergo booking procedure and he will be arrested. I have undergone booking procedure 10 to 12 times.)
Duterte had voided the amnesty that former President Benigno Aquino III granted Trillanes in 2011 due to his alleged failure to file an application form and express guilt for his crime.
Trillanes has asserted that he followed proper procedure in applying for and securing amnesty.
The senator, who has been a vocal critic of President Rodrigo Duterte, said this was a clear case of political persecution against administration critics like him.