MANILA - It was a loss for democracy.
Senator Antonio Trillanes IV had this to say Tuesday after a Makati court ordered his arrest for rebellion over his role in the 2007 Manila Peninsula siege.
In a press conference, Trillanes said he would go with the arresting officers once they serve the warrant but added that he would post bail.
"Natalo po ang demokrasya ngayong araw na ito (Democracy lost today)," the senator said, saying he had shown the court proof that the amnesty granted to him was valid.
"Officially ay wala na po tayong demokrasya. This case goes beyond me. Dito nakikita wala po akong krimeng ginawa kasi nabigyan ako ng amnesty 7 taon na ang nakalilipas," he added in addressing the media just before police took him into custody.
(Officially there is no more democracy. This case goes beyond me. You see that I did not commit a crime because I was granted amnesty 7 years ago.)
Trillanes, who has been a vocal critic of President Rodrigo Duterte, said this was a clear case of political persecution against administration critics like him.
He is the second senator and administration critic to face detention under Duterte's term. Another fierce opposition legislator, Senator Leila de Lima, was arrested on drug charges in February 2017 in what she decried as political persecution.
The rebel-turned-lawmaker was taken into custody after the Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 150 granted the Department of Justice's motion to issue an arrest warrant and hold departure order against him.
The branch handles the rebellion case against Trillanes and his comrades over the 2007 Manila Peninsula siege. The case was supposedly dismissed when he was granted amnesty in 2011.
President Rodrigo Duterte had voided the amnesty the past administration granted Trillanes for his alleged failure to file an application form and admit guilt for his crime.
The senator has insisted that his amnesty is valid and that he followed procedure, and showed videos and documents to prove this.
Trillanes had been holed up in his office at the Senate building since the President's August 31 proclamation was made public on September 4.
The Supreme Court earlier denied Trillanes' petition to temporarily halt Duterte's proclamation.