MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Despite failing to get an immediate relief via a temporary restraining order, opposition senator Antonio Trillanes IV said he was “grateful” to the Supreme Court for recognizing his rights amid President Rodrigo Duterte’s revocation of his amnesty.
Trillanes on Tuesday, September 11, said he was thankful that the SC showed “semblance” of independence.
“It was a carefully worded decision by the Supreme Court but we are grateful nonetheless that they showed some semblance of independence. They could have outrightly dismissed the petition altogether but they moved that we presented a strong case and the proclamation of Mr Duterte was or is badly flawed,” Trillanes told reporters right after the SC decision.
“But nonetheless they gave him a face-saving way out. While the petition for TRO was denied, it took judicial notice of the pronouncement of both Mr Duterte and the AFP [Armed Forces of the Philippines] that there won’t be any arrest,” he added.
“They gave him [Duterte] a face-saving way out...but at the same time protecting my rights and the rights of similarly situated people in the future. That part ay talagang masaya tayo that the Supreme Court stood up at least doon (We are really happy that the Supreme Court stoop up at least on that issue),” Trillanes said.
The denial of the petition is primarily based on President Rodrigo Duterte's acknowledgment that no arrest will be made without warrant issued by the trial courts. Trillanes "will not be apprehended, detained or taken into custody" without the warrants from the regional trial courts.
Given this, the SC said that “there is no extreme and urgent necessity for the Court to issue an injunctive relief considering that the respondents have acknowledged Senator Trillanes' right to due process.”
In its SC resolution, the en banc also asked the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) to comment in 10 days on Trillanes' main petition for further deliberations. Duterte and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana both admitted that it was Calida who led the review of Trillanes' amnesty records.
With this, the attention now shifts again to the two Makati courts which will hear this week the DOJ’s motions for a warrant of arrest against Trillanes in previously dismissed cases of coup d’etat and rebellion.
For Trillanes and his camp, this is a welcome development.
“They passed on factual to the RTC and rightfully so. It will give us more space to summon witnesses and subpoena those documents they have and dito talaga maiipit si Mr Calida (this is where Calida will be cornered) and all those responsible for this. Makikitang fraud, gross misrepresentation of facts and evidence, talagang falsification [of documents] (They will see that this is really a fraud, gross misrepresentation of facts and evidence, and there was falsification of documents),” the senator said.
Going home soon?
Right after the decision was released, Trillanes said he was considering to finally go home after one week of being holed up in his Senate office. (LOOK: Inside Trillanes 'home' in the Senate)
But after Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said in a media briefing that the proclamation stays – and upon advice of his colleagues – Trillanes decided otherwise.
Citing his camp's "direct engagement" with the AFP, the senator said there is still a standing arrest order against him.
Asked about it, Trillanes said he does not fear for his life outside the Senate, given Malacañang’s changing statements.
“No, dahil alam din naman ng mga sundalo and pulis [na] if they do anything bad sa akin, kinalaunan sila rin malalagalag dyan, sila rin makukulong. Nakita naman nila nangyari kay former senator Ninoy Aquino, yung mga nakulong ay yung mga sundalo at pulis na nagbantay,” Trillanes said.
(No because the soldiers and policemen know that if they do anything bad to me, they will eventually take the blame for it. They will be imprisoned. They saw what happened to former senator Ninoy Aquino, those who got jailed were the soldiers and police guarding him.)
Trillanes earlier said he did not believe that Duterte has withdrawn his orders for the military and police to arrest him without a warrant, which would have been addressed had he received the TRO. – Rappler.com
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