THE Makati regional trial court yesterday issued an arrest warrant and hold departure order against embattled opposition Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV whose amnesty was voided by President Duterte’s Proclamation No. 572.
Judge Elmo Almeda of Branch 50, who was handling Trillanes’ rebellion case from the 2007 Manila Peninsula siege, set a P200,000 bail bond for the opposition leader’s temporary liberty.
The senator immediately posted bail after his arrest and undergoing booking procedures.
Duterte recently voided Trillanes’ amnesty due to the lawmaker’s supposed failure to meet minimal requirements.
Apart from Branch 150, Makati RTC Branch 148 was also handling the coup d’etat case against Trillanes over the 2003 Oakwood mutiny.
The amnesty was granted in 2010 under Proclamation No. 75 of then president Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III.
Trillanes challenged the legality of the President’s proclamation before the Supreme Court arguing that it violated his constitutional rights.
Trillanes yesterday voluntarily turned himself over to National Capital Region Police Office chief Director Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar moments after a Makati court ordered his arrest for rebellion in relation to the infamous 2007 Manila Peninsula siege.
The staunch critic of President Duterte did not put up any resistance to NCRPO officials led by Eleazar who came to serve the warrant of arrest against him.
However, before he yielded to the NCRPO chief at the Senate lounge, Trillanes, who had been holed up at his Senate office since last September 4, met with his colleagues in the minority bloc and even attended their regular session.
Trillanes later left the Senate premises on board a police mobile vehicle and went straight to the Makati City Police Station’s Warrant Section where he underwent routine booking procedure including fingerprinting and taking of his mug shots.
Almeda was the same judge who handled the rebellion case against Trillanes over the 2007 Manila Peninsula Siege but dismissed the case in 2011 pursuant to the amnesty received by the former Navy officer.
President Duterte last month revoked Trillanes’ amnesty over his reported failure to comply with two minimum requirements: filing an application and admitting his guilt.
Senate Sgt. at Arms Jose Balajadia said that the arresting team headed by NCRPO chief Eleazar arrived at the Senate at 2:30 in the afternoon to implement the arrest.
“Nasunod ang protocol at naging maayos naman ang lahat ng proseso,” Balajadia said.
Trillanes was accompanied by fellow opposition Senator Kiko Pangilinan, Risa Hontiveros and Bam Aquino. His colleagues condemned his arrest.
“I condemn in the strongest possible terms the issuance of a warrant of arrest against Senator Antonio Trillanes. It is a black eye for democracy and rule of law as our courts caved in to the whims of President Rodrigo Duterte,” Hontiveros stressed.
Aquino meanwhile offered a prayer for Trillanes.
“Lord, we ask for your guidance today as many occurrances happen in our halls. We pray for our colleague, Sen. Sonny Trillanes as he goes through many trials today,” Aquino prayed.
“The court has spoken.”
So said Malacañang yesterday, stressing it respected the decision of a Makati court to issue a warrant of arrest against Trillanes on a charge of rebellion.
“The court has spoken. As the President has said, we will respect the decision of the judiciary. Whatever Senator Antonio Trillanes IV has to say can be addressed to the court,” said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque in a statement yesterday.
Roque also alluded to Trillanes’ frequent press conferences or press cons at the Senate as he was facing the threat of arrest.
“Let us stop the drama by press con and allow the legal process to take its course,” Roque said.
Earlier, Roque said, “Since the President deferred to the regional trial court of Makati, and an order has already been issued for his arrest, we are hoping that Senator Trillanes will equally respect our court and voluntarily surrender to the court so that he may prove his innocence.”
Trillanes is the second opposition senator ordered arrested under Duterte’s regime, the first being Senator Leila de Lima who remains in detention on drug charges.
With Alfred Dalizon, Marlon Purificacion, Efren Montano