Trillanes from arrest to release: Just another day in the office

Tarra Quismundo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 25 2018 07:48 PM | Updated as of Sep 25 2018 08:38 PM

Senator Antonio Trillanes IV leaves the Makati City Police headquarters after being arrested and booked for rebellion charges over the 2007 Manila Peninsula siege. Noel Celis, Agence France-Presse

MANILA (UPDATE) - His suit unwrinkled and not a hair out of place, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV returned to the Senate around 5 p.m., Tuesday after posting bail in yet another criminal case, like it was just another day in the office. 

It was the "10th or 12th" time for the 47-year-old rebel-turned-senator to undergo booking procedure, where his mugshots and fingerprints as an accused--again--were taken. 

And the whirlwind of nearly four hours from arrest to release did not take away Trillanes' trademark smug smile that broke through his oft stern demeanor, one that showed he may just have something up his sleeve. 

Even as he faced what he called a "demon," in reference to President Rodrigo Duterte, Trillanes, the former Navy officer behind failed uprisings in 2003 and 2007 appeared cool. He let his fighting words speak for himself. 

"'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.)

"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 do the same. He will undergo booking procedure and he will be arrested. I have undergone booking procedure 10 to 12 times.)

Trillanes posted a P200,000 bail Tuesday afternoon after a Makati court issued an arrest warrant and hold departure order against him for his role in the 2007 Manila Peninsula siege. 

It was among the criminal charges revived, along with coup d'etat, which he faced for leading the 2003 Oakwood mutiny, after Duterte voided his 2011 amnesty issued by the Aquino government. 

He had been holed up at his Senate office since Duterte's Presidential Proclamation 572 was made public on September 4. 

In a video posted by the Senate early Tuesday evening, Trillanes could be seen standing calmly as he was being served the warrant at the Senate. 

Present during his arrest were Metro Manila police chief Guillermo Eleazar, Senate President Vicente Sotto III, his fellow opposition Senators Bam Aquino, Francis Pangilinan and Risa Hontiveros, and his lawyer Reynaldo Robles. 

At the Makati City Police headquarters, he seemed cool as he sat quietly while waiting to be booked. 

Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV at the Makati City Police headquarters. Eric Dastas, ABS-CBN News

And when his mugshot was taken, Trillanes even mustered a slight smile. 

Upon his return to the Senate, he thanked the police for treating him properly. 

"...Sa PNP under [NCRPO chief] Eleazar, they were very professional, they treated me well. Maganda para sa imahe ng PNP (It's good for the image of the PNP)," 

He also thanked his colleagues for their support. 

"Unang-una sa lahat, nais kong pasalamatan 'yung mga nag-offer ng kanilang suporta at panalangin na walang mangyari sa'kin (First of all, I would like to thank those who offered their support and prayers that nothing bad will happen to me)," said Trillanes, who earlier spoke of his family being under surveillance

"I’m very grateful for the support extended by the minority senators," he said. 

He also thanked Sotto for staying true to the agreement on a proper turnover to police custody. 

Trillanes was detained for seven years before former President Benigno Aquino III granted him amnesty in 2011. 

He won a seat in the Senate in 2007, campaigning from detention, and was reelected in 2013. In 2016, he campaigned against then Davao City Mayor Duterte and has since been among the chief executive's fiercest critics. 

MALACAÑANG RESPONDS

In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Trillanes should stop playing the victim, citing his "attacks" against the President.

“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,” Roque said. 

“He should view this as a welcome opportunity to submit his evidence that will prove that the grant of amnesty to him was valid.”