Monday 24 September, 2018
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Duterte says Trillanes can stay as long as he wants in Senate as ‘boarder’: Wait for warrant

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President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday said nobody, including him, is interested to arrest Senator Antonio Trillanes IV.

“The military does not have the interest. I do not have the interest. He can stay there (Senate) as a boarder,” Duterte said in a media interview after a command conference on typhoon Ompong at the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) operations center in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

Duterte said he has directed the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police not to arrest the senator without a civilian court issuing warrant of arrest.

“The police — sabi ko (I said), do not arrest until there is a warrant of arrest by the court. Eh wala man ang military (There is none in the military). It has not constituted the martial law court,” the President said.

“So it’s only the civilian court. Wala namang order. So kung walang order, huwag ninyong pakialaman (There was no order. So there is none, do not interfere),” he added.

Trillanes remains at the Senate for refuge despite the government’s statement that he will not be arrested by the military.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Trillanes’ decision to stay at the Senate is all “drama” and for “political mileage”.

In a Palace press briefing on Thursday, Roque reiterated that the government will wait for the decision of the Makati Regional Trial Court on its omnibus motion for issuance of warrant of arrest against Trillanes.

“We will act accordingly after the RTC comes up with its decision,” Roque said.

Roque said the Makati RTC now has the jurisdiction to resolve the factual issues on the amnesty granted to Trillanes after the Supreme Court (SC) rejected the senator’s plea for temporary restraining order against Proclamation 572.

Duterte issued Proclamation 572 that declared void ab initio (from the beginning) Trillanes’ amnesty due to the former Navy officer’s failure to comply with mandatory requirements such as duly received amnesty application form and admission of guilt of the crimes he committed for leading two failed coup d’etat against former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

“Nonetheless, the bigger victory is the fact that the RTCs, according to the Supreme Court, should decide the issue of validity of the amnesty,” Roque said.

Roque said Trillanes’ amnesty is also null and void from the very beginning because it was former Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, and not former President Benigno Aquino III, who signed it.

He added that Aquino should have not delegated the approval of the amnesty to his alter ego.

“An act of pardon pati (as well as) amnesty is an act of State. You cannot delegate it to anybody else,” Duterte earlier said.

(PNA)

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