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‘Double speak:’ Trillanes still wary of arrest even with Duterte scrapping warrantless arrest

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By Xave Gregorio

Senator Antonio Trillanes IV is not keeping his guard down even after President Rodrigo Duterte assured that he would not be arrested without a court warrant.

In a media briefing Saturday (September 8), Trillanes said he was told by military contacts that there is still an order to arrest him, even as two Makati courts are yet to issue a warrant and the court martial, which supposedly has jurisdiction over his case, is still being reconstituted.

“Through our contacts sa Armed Forces, eh may standing order pa rin sila na arestuhin ako, ‘di ba, so that’s another lie,” said Trillanes, a staunch critic of Duterte.

“Unless and until that order is relayed to the operating units, walang saysay ‘yan,” he said.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said yesterday that Duterte would wait for a warrant to be issued by the Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 148 or 150, where the Department of Justice has separate motions for a warrant of arrest against the former mutineer-turned-senator.

But Trillanes is not counting on Duterte and the Palace’s word, saying it would be easy for the President to dismiss his statement as a joke.

“‘Di ba sabi niya (Duterte) hindi ako huhulihin, ‘pag lumabas ako diyan, eh ‘yun ang utos sa ground units eh. Kapag nahuli na, eh sasabihin niya, ‘Eh kayo naman, naniwala kayo sa akin,’’ Trillanes said.

He also dismissed the statement as “double speak,” as Roque said bringing Trillanes under the court martial remains an “alternative.”

“At the end of the day, if the operating units still have an order to arrest me, then wala ‘yan. That has no value,” Trillanes said.

Trillanes has been in his office in Pasay City for four days following the publication of Duterte’s Proclamation No. 572, which declared the amnesty granted to him in 2011 as void from the start.

The military says that Duterte’s proclamation also reverted Trillanes back to the service, even if he had resigned from the Armed Forces in 2007, four years before he was granted amnesty.

Trillanes is challenging Duterte’s proclamation before the Supreme Court.