Duterte rules out warrantless arrest of Trillanes

Rather than order the military to arrest Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, President Rodrigo Duterte has agreed to wait for the courts to issue an arrest warrant against his fierce critic

Pia Ranada

6:33:49am September 7, 2018

1:50:47pm September 7, 2018

WAIT FOR COURT. President Rodrigo Duterte has decided to wait for an arrest warrant against Senator Antonio Trillanes IV to be issued by the courts. Malacañang photo

WAIT FOR COURT. President Rodrigo Duterte has decided to wait for an arrest warrant against Senator Antonio Trillanes IV to be issued by the courts. Malacañang photo

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has decided to wait for the courts to issue an arrest warrant against Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, rather than order a military arrest.

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque announced this on Friday, September 7 during a press conference in Amman, Jordan, where Duterte was on an official visit. 

"After a long discussion, the President says he will abide by the rule of law. He will await the decision of the regional trial court if they will issue a warrant of arrest," said Roque.

Duterte made the decision in consultation with members of his Cabinet on  Proclamation No. 572, which revoked Trillanes' amnesty granted in 2011 and ordered his immediate arrest.

The President met with Cabinet officials on Thursday night, September 6. The group included Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr, and Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, among other officials who joined Duterte's latest foreign trip.

"He will allow the judicial process to proceed and he will wait for the issuance of appropriate warrant of arrest before Senator Trillanes is arrested," said Roque.

The Palace official said that being a former city prosecutor, Duterte "knows criminal procedure.

"He recognizes that only the courts can issue a warrant of arrest," Roque said.

However, Duterte was told the military can arrest Trillanes, despite the opposition senator's contention that military courts have no jurisdiction over him since he resigned from military service 4 years before being granted amnesty.

"The other alternative was to invoke the military court proceedings and for the military to immediately re-acquire jurisdiction over him. It was explained that it can be done because unlike civil courts, the proceedings in court martial was pending. No case was dismissed in the pending court martial," said Roque.

However, the charges against Trillanes in the court martial proceedings was violation of Article 96 of the Articles of War for conduct unbecoming of an officer and a gentleman. The maximum penalty for such charge is dismissal from service. Trillanes is no longer a soldier.

Hours before the Palace announcement, the Department of National Defense (DND) issued a similar statement, that it will wait for the Supreme Court (SC) decision on Trillanes' petition against Proclamation 572.  Rappler.com

Follow the developments here:

Opposition calls for Senate crowd to prevent Trillanes arrest

Little-known fact: AFP chief Galvez got amnesty for 1989 failed coup

Rush for TRO: Trillanes speeds up Supreme Court proceedings

Trillanes: Supreme Court TRO will give military a ‘way out’

Military defers action on Trillanes, waits for SC

DOJ seeks Trillanes warrant in another court

EXPLAINER: Why DOJ has two requests for Trillanes warrant

No warrant vs Trillanes yet, Makati court says records kept in ‘bodega’

Paolo Duterte, Mans Carpio file libel complaints vs Trillanes

Sotto to minority senators: Don’t abuse Senate leadership’s ‘hospitality’

AFP: We are united despite Trillanes amnesty issue 

Justice Peralta in charge of Trillanes Supreme Court petition

Esperon contradicts DND, says Trillanes no longer a soldier

Summaries: 

[WRAP | Day 1] Duterte voiding Trillanes' amnesty: Everything you need to know

[WRAP | Day 2] Trillanes gets relief from court, DOJ seeks options

[WRAP | Day 3] Looming Trillanes arrest jolts PH from sleep