Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 25) – Senator Antonio Trillanes IV on Tuesday posted a PhP200,000 bail to secure his temporary liberty after a local court upheld the voidance of his amnesty on Tuesday.
A representative for Trillanes posted his bail at the Makati Regional Trial Court (RTC), after the senator underwent booking procedure at the Makati Police Station.
The bail prompted Judge Elmo Alameda of Makati RTC Branch 150 to cancel the arrest warrant he had earlier issued and order the police to “immediately release” Trillanes.
“The warrant of arrest issued against the accused dated September 25, 2018 is hereby recalled and set aside,” Alameda said in his latest order. He also set a hearing on November 21, where the prosecution will present its evidence against Trillanes.
Court: Amnesty voidance has bases
The court earlier ordered Trillanes’ arrest and barred him from leaving the country, granting a petition of the Justice Department. The court said it found “factual and legal bases” for President Rodrigo Duterte’s Proclamation No. 572, which declared Trillanes’ amnesty void from the beginning because of failure to comply with requirements.
“Precisely, Proclamation No. 572 series of 2018 was issued by President Duterte to rectify the erroneous grant of amnesty given to Sen. Trillanes,” the court order read.
Trillanes, however, maintained that he applied for amnesty and admitted his guilt, and that his impending arrest is part of the Duterte administration’s crackdown against critics.
“Officially ay wala na po tayong demokrasya (We officially have no democracy),” Trillanes said.
But he said he was ready to be arrested “no matter how unjust that warrant may be.”
Trillanes has been holed up in the Senate since September 4, when Duterte’s proclamation invalidating his amnesty was published in newspapers.
Senate Sergeant-At-Arms Jose Balajadia said police officers did not arrest Trillanes within Senate premises but that the senator “peacefully went inside” the police cars outside the Senate.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque told CNN Philippines he is “happy” that Trillanes turned himself in and complied with the processes.
Some lawmakers rallied behind Trillanes, calling him a victim of political persecution.
“This administration will do everything to silence Trillanes,” Magdalo party-list Rep. Gary Alejano said.
Some opposition senators also accompanied Trillanes at the Makati RTC.
“While we respect the Court order, we disgaree with it. It is as clear as day that the revocation of grant of amnesty is illegal and an abuse of presidential powers and must be vigorously opposed,” Senator Kiko Pangilinan said.
Trillanes, a former naval officer, was involved in the Oakwood mutiny in July 2003, the Marines standoff in February 2006, and the Manila Peninsula incident in 2007 – which were all against then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Trillanes and fellow Magdalo soldiers were jailed but walked free as former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III granted them amnesty in 2011.
Alameda in 2011 dismissed the rebellion charges against Trillanes on the basis of the amnesty granted to the soldier-turned-lawmaker.
Aside from Alameda, Judge Bartolome Soriano of Branch 148, which handled the coup d’ etat case against Trillanes, is also handing a motion for an arrest warrant against the senator.
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