MANILA - A party-list lawmaker believes a Makati court yielded to pressure from Malacañang when it ordered the release of an arrest order against Senator Antonio Trillanes following the withdrawal of his amnesty by President Rodrigo Duterte.
"Sa aking tingin po, bumigay ang RTC sa pressure ng Malacañang ((I think the RTC gave in to pressure from Malacañang)," Magdalo Party-list Rep. Gary Alejano told radio DZMM.
"Nagkukunwari po tayong demokrasya -- demokrasya kung saan mayroon tayong check and balance at lahat tayo ay sumasangguni sa 1987 Constitution," he said.
(We are pretending that we're a democracy -- a democracy where we have a system of checks and balances and we all obey the 1987 Constitution.)
"Pero kung iyun ay binabali ng nakaupo at takot na ang mga ahensya ng gobyerno na are supposed to provide check and balance, na-concentrate na ang poder sa opisina ng Pangulo. At kung ito ang nangyayari, ano pa ang saysay ng tinatawag nating demokrasya? Diktador na po ang tawag natin d'yan," he added.
(But if this is bent by those in power and the government agencies that are supposed provide check and balance are afraid, the power is now concentrated in the Office of the President. If this is what is happening, what is the use of democracy? That's dictatorship.)
The Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 150, which handles a rebellion case against Trillanes, issued a warrant of arrest against him on Tuesday in connection with the 2007 Manila Peninsula siege. Trillanes on the same day posted bail of P200,000 for his temporary liberty.
Diosfa Toledanes-Valencia, Makati RTC Branch 150 clerk of court, earlier said the court granted the arrest order after the senator failed to present a copy of his amnesty application. This, despite Trillanes's submission of a sworn affidavit of Colonel Josefa Berbigal saying that the senator officially applied for amnesty.
Berbigal was the head of the secretariat of the Department of National Defense (DND) ad hoc committee when Trillanes filed his application for amnesty.
"Clear naman po dito based on the findings, walang na present hard copy si Trillanes of the amnesty application," the clerk of court told reporters.
"Other exhibits presented had no probative value," she added.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque earlier urged Trillanes to respect the court decision and stop playing the "victim."
Duterte revoked the amnesty of Trillanes, a former Navy officer, due to his alleged failure to submit an application form and express his guilt.
The Department of Defense has said the application form was "missing".
Trillanes' camp is studying filing a motion for reconsideration to overturn the arrest warrant against him, his lawyer Reynaldo Robles said in a separate DZMM interview.