Trillanes allies in lower house slam arrest warrant

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 25 2018 05:32 PM

Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV undergoes booking procedure at the Makati Police headquarters on Tuesday. The Philippine National Police took the senator into custody after the Makati RTC issued an arrest warrant on his 2007 rebellion case based on a request issued by the Justice department following President Duterte’s issuance of Proclamation 572 voiding his amnesty in 2011. Photo courtesy of NCRPO

MANILA - Allies of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV in the House of Representatives slammed the issuance of a warrant of arrest for their fellow opposition lawmaker.

Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano, Trillanes’ partymate, believes the court caved in to political machinations.

“Before you can issue a warrant of arrest, you have to go through 3 stages. You have first to revive the case before you issue the warrant of arrest and before you can revive the case, the amnesty should have to be revoked. Kung nagbigay ng warrant of arrest, maliwanag na revoked o nullified ang amnesty na kung saan ‘di ito unilateral action ng executive department. Merong concurrence ito ng Kongreso at obliterated na,” said Alejano.

(When a warrant of arrest is issued, it’s clear that the amnesty has been revoked or nullified. Revocation is not a unilateral action of the executive department. This requires Congress concurrence.)

The Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 150 granted Tuesday the Department of Justice's motion to order Trillanes' arrest over the second uprising. It also issued a hold departure order against the senator.

Despite this, Alejano said they will stick to legal means to hold the government accountable. 

”Sa amin, sinasabi namin doon kami sa legal. Ayaw namin lumabas sa Konstitusyon, lagi kami pupunta doon. Pagkakaalam ko, kami lahat, kasama si Sen. Trillanes, nabigyan ng piyansa bago pa man nabigyan ng Proclamation 75 granting amnesty to the members of the Magdalo so ibig sabihin, yung kaso na ‘yan sa Branch 150 which is rebellion, is bailable. We were issued, we were granted bail, that means Sen. Trillanes could again post bail for the specific case of rebellion,” he said.

(We will go by what is legal. From what I know, all of us, including Sen. Trillanes, were granted bail even before Proclamation 75 granting amnesty to Magdalo members. This means that the rebellion case at Branch 150 is bailable.)

Alejano insisted that Trillanes’ amnesty should have been revoked first.

Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman claims the order is illegal. 

“Sa palagay ko, sapagkat ito galing sa Supreme Court, binaba sa RTC for fact-finding, kailangan bumalik sa Supreme Court para Supreme Court ang magdedesisyon. 'Wag silang magmadali sa pag-aresto sapagkat nandiyan naman si Sen. Trillanes, he is not a flight risk,” said Lagman. 

(I think so because this comes from the Supreme Court, handed down to the RTC for fact-finding. This has to go back to the Supreme Court for decision. They shouldn't speed up the arrest, Sen. Trillanes is not a flight risk.)

Lagman noted that the Makati RTC was ordered to conduct fact-finding so it should first submit its findings to the Supreme Court before the arrest can be implemented.

“It should not be implemented till the Supreme Court makes a final na desisyon,” Lagman said.

Lagman likens Trillanes’ case to that of Senator Leila de Lima who has been charged and detained on questionable charges.

Lagman said, “Ito’y parang kwento ni Sen. De Lima but there’s a difference: hindi ko malaman paano nabuhay yung kaso na obliterated na because of the amnesty. Hindi lang dismissed, obliterated. That is the language of the amnesty, the effect of amnesty. Obliteration of the crime. Obliteration of the charges, hindi ko maintindihan paano nabuhay yun,” he said.

(This is like the story of Sen. De Lima but the only difference is I don’t know how a case that was obliterated because of the amnesty was revived. Not only dismissed, but obliterated.)

Alejano urged the government not to use its resources for political vendetta. 

“Nakakalungkot. Hahanapan ng lahat, babaliin ang lahat para lamang matahimik ang oposisyon. Walang patas na laban sa kanila, lahat ng ahensiya ng gubyerno pagdating sa isyu ng pulitika. Let’s debate in public pero kung gagamitin lahat ng pwersa para balikan ang kalaban sa pultika nakikita natin wala na gumaganang proseso pag binali nila ito. Ibig sabihin kaya nila baliin ang lahat,” he said.

(It’s sad. They will break everything just to silence the opposition. They don’t play fair. Let’s debate in public. But if they will use all forces to get back at political rivals, we can see a breakdown in the process. This means that they can do anything.)