Makati regional trial court orders arrest of Senator Trillanes

The Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 150 today ordered the arrest of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, one of President Rodrigo Duterte’s fiercest critics, in connection with the 2007 Manila Peninsula siege.

The warrant of arrest comes three weeks after it was announced that Duterte declared Trillanes’ amnesty null and void. The amnesty was given to the senator by former President Benigno Aquino III in 2010.

It was revoked due to Trillanes’ alleged failure to file an Official Amnesty Application Form.

Trillanes has denied the government’s charge that he did not file for an amnesty.

Rappler reported that Branch 150’s Judge Elmo Alameda also issued a hold departure order against Trillanes. Bail is fixed at PHP200,000 (more than US$3,679).

Alameda previously asked for a copy of Trillanes’ amnesty application form. But according to Trillanes’ lawyer Reynaldo Robles, the senator couldn’t find his copy of the form, reported the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

The Inquirer also reported that after the voiding of the amnesty, the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a motion to arrest Trillanes. The DOJ said that the revocation of the senator’s amnesty means that the dismissal of his rebellion cases is also void.

Trillanes has been staying at his office at the Senate building since Duterte announced that his amnesty has been declared void.

ABS-CBN News reported that the senator is also facing a separate charge for his role in leading the Oakwood Hotel mutiny in Makati in 2003.

A former Navy lieutenant, Trillanes led a band of soldiers called Magdalo in two uprisings: first was the 2003 takeover of the Oakwood Hotel in Makati; and the second was the 2007 occupation of the Manila Peninsula Hotel also in the same city.

Both uprisings occurred as a protest against the alleged widespread corruption during President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s tenure.

Trillanes successfully campaigned for a seat at the Senate in 2007, despite being in prison. He was detained for seven years until he received his amnesty in 2010.

Trillanes will become the second senator to be imprisoned during the Duterte administration. The first one, Senator Leila de Lima, was jailed last year at Camp Crame for allegedly extorting money from inmates of the New Bilibid Prisons when she was the country’s secretary of Justice.

Like Trillanes, de Lima is known as a vocal critic of the president.

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