Senator Antonio Trillanes IV remains free — for now.
The Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 150 today deffered issuing an arrest warrant for Trillanes, whose amnesty was declared void by President Rodrigo Duterte via Proclamation No. 572.
Instead, the court asked the Department of Justice (DOJ) to respond to the document Trillanes filed opposing the warrant, reported the Philippine Star.
The case lodged at branch 150 is a rebellion case against Trillanes for his involvement at the 2007 Manila Peninsula siege. While Trillanes remains free, the court asked him to present a copy of his amnesty application form.
This puts the lawmaker in a difficult position because according to Trillanes’ lawyer Reynaldo Robles, the senator couldn’t find his copy of the form, reported the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
The reason why Duterte revoked the amnesty, which was given to Trillanes by then President Benigno Aquino III in 2010, was because Trillanes allegedly failed to file an Official Amnesty Application Form.
Robles instead presented a video showing Trillanes filing the form in front of Colonel Josefa Berbigal but the judge insisted that its the document which the court needs.
While the court hearing is ongoing, Trillanes has decided to stay at his office in the Senate, where he’s been holed up since the revocation of his amnesty.
Trillanes was supposed to go home on Thursday but postponed it because he alleged that his car was tailed, reported ABS-CBN News.
Yesterday, Duterte insisted that he had no interest in having Trillanes arrested.
The president told reporters: “I said don’t arrest until there’s a warrant. It’s only the civilian courts [which can issue an arrest warrant], but there is no order yet. So if there’s no order, don’t touch him.”
However, the senator is suspicious of Duterte’s motives.
He said in a mix of Filipino and English: “That made me think, they want me to leave, but I am not going to leave. I am not falling for their script.”
Trillanes has been a thorn on Duterte’s side even before he became president two years ago. In 2016, Trillanes filed a plunder complaint against Duterte, back when the latter was still the mayor of Davao City.
Trillanes is also a vocal critic of Duterte’s anti-drug campaign. In a report from the Philippine Star, he even called it a “sham” and a precursor to the establishment of a dictatorship.