By Martin Sadongdong
With the Philippines’ top cop out of the country, the Philippine National Police (PNP) remained silent on the revocation of Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV’s amnesty as stated in Proclamation 572 signed by President Duterte.
The PNP top officers have yet to issue an official statement on Duterte’s order for the military and the police to “employ all lawful means to apprehend former LTSG. Antonio Trillanes,” a former Philippine Navy officer, in relation to the Oakwood Mutiny and the Manila Peninsula siege. Trillanes’ amnesty was declared “void ab initio” since according to Duterte, he did not apply for amnesty and admit guilt for the Oakwood mutiny in 2003 and the Manila Peninsula siege in 2007.
PNP chief, Director General Oscar Albayalde is currently attending the 38th Asean Association of Chiefs of Police (Aseanapol) Conference in Brunei Darussalam from September 3 to 5. PNP’s number two man, Deputy Director General Fernando Mendez Jr., acting deputy chief for administration, has been designated as officer-in-charge (OIC) but no official word on the matter has been released as of this writing.
However, members of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) were reportedly seen outside the Senate building in Pasay City moments after the news of revocation of Trillanes’s amnesty got out.
CIDG Director Roel Obusan could not be reached for comment on whether they have already received the order from the President to effect the arrest of Trillanes.
But according to PNP protocol, a warrant of arrest from the concerned court shall be issued first before police can apprehend a suspect. Arrests without a warrant are only applicable when crimes are committed in flagrante delicto (caught in the act).
Mendez and Senior Supt. Benigno Durana Jr., could also not be reached for comment as of this writing.
Former president, Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III granted amnesty to active and former military and police, including Trillanes, who are involved in the Oakwood mutiny and the Manila Peninsula siege.
In July 2003, over 300 armed soldiers led by Trillanes and Army Capt. Gerardo Gambala, who called their group “Magdalo,” took over the Oakwood Premier Ayala Center serviced apartments in Makati for 20 hours to demonstrate their resistance in what the group said was the military and government’s corruption under former president and now House Speaker Gloria Arroyo.
Meanwhile, in November 2007, Trillanes and over 25 other military men occupied the Manila Peninsula Hotel in Makati to call for the ouster of then president Arroyo and air their grievances against the administration.)