Trillanes says to leave Senate sanctuary

Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 28 2018 04:23 PM | Updated as of Sep 29 2018 11:23 AM

Senator Antonio Trillanes IV inside his office at the senate on Friday, September 07, 2018. George Calvelo, ABS CBN News

MANILA (2nd UPDATE) - Senator Antonio Trillanes IV said on Friday he will finally leave his Senate office to return home after a Makati City court deferred issuing an arrest warrant against him for his coup d'etat case.

"With this order, I will now go home, I will now leave the Senate premises. But I believe we are victorious, at least for this day, Filipinos won, our country won against the evil forces of Duterte," Trillanes told reporters.

Trillanes said he intends to leave the Senate premises on Saturday at 10 a.m.

The senator said he considers the court's decision a "temporary victory."

Trillanes, meanwhile, praised Judge Andres Bartolome Soriano for doing what is right despite pressure.

"It's a big relief not only for me but more importantly, for the whole justice system, democratic institutions, na in-uphold ng isang Judge Soriano, na despite all the pressures ay tinindigan niya kung ano yung tama at nararapat at idinaan n'ya sa proseso," he said.

"Itong order of deferral na inissue ni Judge Andres, ay isang liwanag sa buong kadiliman na nangyayari sa ating bansa. Kaya you can just admire people of courage and integrity and today it was personified by Judge Soriano," he added.

Threat of arrest by military

Trillanes is confident the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will not arrest him but remains prepared for any possibility.

"I believe we have enough to convince the Armed Forces not to do anything beyond their mandate," he said.

"Alam mo, sa panahon ni Duterte, anything is possible. Hindi tayo pwedeng magkumpyansa. Pero marami namang kababayan natin na sumusubaybay sa sitwasyon natin. Kung may gagawin silang kalokohan, malalaman ng mamamayan," he said.

The senator said he will make the most out of his temporary victory but will prepare for the October 5, 2018 hearing before Makati RTC Branch 148.

"We are contemplating na ipatawag mismo si Mr. Calida para under oath, mailagay siya kung ano ang mga pinaggagawa niya in relation to this bogus proclamation ni Duterte," he said.

He will also push for the Senate investigation into Solicitor General Jose Calida's security agency contracts and Special Assistant to the President Bong Go's government contracts.

"It's time to put them on the defensive," he said.

Calida prompted the search for the amnesty records of Sen. Antonio Trillanes, according to military spokesman Col. Edgard Arevalo.

Duterte voided Trillanes' amnesty over his supposed failure to formally apply for one and admit guilt. The former Navy lieutenant however, denied this, and showed photos and videos of his application.

Trillanes took Duterte's proclamation to court and sought a temporary restraining order, which was denied by the Supreme Court on Sept. 11.

The top court instead ruled that the Makati courts, where Trillanes' was tried for coup d'etat and rebellion, must decide on the legality of the President's proclamation.