Makati court orders Trillanes' arrest

Elias Hubbard
September 25, 2018

"Darkness and evil prevailed in our country".

A Philippine lawmaker fiercely critical of President Rodrigo Duterte's drug war was arrested Tuesday (Sep 25) on previously dismissed charges, a move condemned by watchdogs as persecution of the government's opponents.

Senator Antonio Trillanes was ordered arrested for rebellion for leading a coup attempt in 2007 against former President Gloria Arroyo, a crime for which he was granted amnesty by ex-President Benigno Aquino.

On Tuesday afternoon, a police team from the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), headed by the chief of police of Makati, was sent to Senate to serve the arrest warrant against Trillanes. This case goes beyond me.

Duterte has been highly sensitive to criticism, especially over his anti-drug crackdown that has left thousands of mostly poor suspects dead since he took office in mid-2016. "This is clearly Mr Duterte silencing his political critics, those who tell the truth".

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra welcomed the order of the Court, saying that the DOJ was confident from the very start that its bid to bring Trillanes back to jail will be granted by the court.

Malacañang has repeatedly denied going after those who oppose Duterte and his policies, even with the detention of Senator Leila de Lima, another strong critic of the administration.

Alameda found "factual and legal bases" for the President's proclamation, thereby junking Trillanes' defense that he, indeed, applied for amnesty and complied with all the requirements, including admitting his guilt.

The Department of Justice has asked two courts to issue warrants for Trillanes's arrest and resume criminal proceedings against him.

The arrest of Trillanes follows the incarceration previous year of another vocal Duterte critic, Senator Leila de Lima, who is now in jail on drugs charges she vigorously denies and which human rights organisations have accused of being trumped up.

In a separate interview over CNN Philippines, Albayalde assured that maximum tolerance will be observed in serving the arrest warrant against Trillanes.

Duterte has also accused Trillanes, without offering evidence, of plotting with other opposition politicians, including the Liberal party and leftist groups, to oust him.

His arrest is "the latest in the relentless campaign to silence those who dared to challenge the president's murderous "drug war, '" Carlos Conde, a researcher at Human Rights Watch's Asia Division, said in a statement".

Trillanes posted bail of 200,000 pesos ($3,770).

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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