Trillanes out of Senate for first time in weeks, a free man for now

Published September 29, 2018, 4:42 PM

by AJ Siytangco

By Vanne Elaine Terrazola

Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV is out of the Senate for the first time in weeks after getting a temporary relief from his possible arrest following the voiding of his amnesty.

After almost a month of being holed up in his office, Trillanes, on Saturday morning, packed his things and finally went home in Antipolo City.

Senator Antonio Trillanes IV plays with his pet Bruno inside his home in Antipolo on Saturday. (Jansen Romero / MANILA BULLETIN)
Senator Antonio Trillanes IV plays with his pet Bruno inside his home in Antipolo on Saturday.
(Jansen Romero / MANILA BULLETIN)

On Friday, the Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 148, which handled the opposition lawmaker’s nonbailable coup d’etat case, decided to defer its decision on the motion of the Justice Department for an arrest order and hold departure against him as it set a hearing for the two parties on October 5 to present their respective evidence on the issue of his voided amnesty.

Until then, and the court’s resolution on his case, Trillanes is a free man for now.

“It’s going to be a refreshing experience. I can just imagine just being able to sleep in your own bed, makakaligo ka na nang maayos (you can shower properly)…but sabi ko nga (like I said), I’m not complaining. Pero ‘yon lang, babalik sa dating (I will go back to the old) routine that I’m used to. I’m looking forward to that,” Trillanes said when asked by reporters in a brief interview in Senate prior to his departure past 10 a.m. Saturday.

He arrived in his house In Antipolo City around 11:30 a.m., accompanied by Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano and some members of press.

Trillanes said he will spend his weekend with his family. He also plans to visit his ailing mother, who has been confined in a hospital as he stayed in Senate.

‘Political miracle’

Trillanes considers that Makati RTC Branch 148’s decision as a “political miracle” amid prospects that he would be ordered arrested in the past few days.

This was after the Makati RTC Branch 150 favored the DOJ and issued an arrest order and hold departure order on Tuesday. Fortunately, he was released upon posting a bail of P200,000.

“Ito na ‘yong political miracle na nasaksihan natin. Yong journey na ‘to, up and down, parang roller coaster. Noong Thursday, Friday nangangamba ‘yong kababayan natin, mga taga-supprrta na magwawagi ‘yong kadiliman pero nandito tayo ngayon,” he told reporters in an interview in his home.

Trillanes, however, said he is not discounting any possibility that he might be taken into custody despite the absence of a warrant. But such scenario, which may be enforced by the military on the basis of a court martial, would be illegal.

“Maliwanag din naman yan sa Armed Forces na wala akong kasalanan dito at magiging walang katarungan kung ako ay dadamputin na lang basta-basta. At I am sure hindi sila magpapakasangkapan sa mga ganitong political persecution,” he said.

Trillanes said he will consider making necessary arrangements for his security amid possible threats.

Meanwhile, Trillanes slammed Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, whom, he claimed, was being used to “weaponize” the judiciary system against the administration’s critics.

“Diyan niyo makikita na wine-weaponize na itong ating justice system. Si Sec. Guevarra dapat siya yong tagapangasiwa at tagapangalaga ng hustisya sa ating lipunan. ‘Yong mga na-agrabyado, dapat sila ang tagahabol dun sa mga nang-aagrabyado. Pero ngayon sila pa yong mananakot at gagamitin na politcal weapon for persecution,” he said.

“Sa akin naman, sige lang, and we will roll with the punches at itong bagyong ito ay lilipas at lilipas din. Saka na lang siguro magkakasingilan,” he said.

The Palace, meanwhile, said it has respected the Branch 148’s decision.

“That is court decision which we respect and defer to,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement.

Resume probe

Being a free man, for now, Trillanes said he would continue his probe into the alleged anomalous transactions of Solicitor General Jose Calida’s security firm with various government agencies.

To recall, the senator was conducting a hearing on a bill relating to the supposed conflict of interest committed by Calida in bagging millions worth of government contracts when the Proclamation 572 that voided his amnesty was released.

Trillanes chairs the Senate committee on civil service organization and professional regulation that has jurisdiction over government officials and employees.

He said he also plans to talk to Senate leaders about his resolution calling for an investigation on the supposed conflict of interest in the contracts won by the construction firms owned by the relatives of Special Assistant to the President Bong Go.