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Lorenzana assures Trillanes won’t be arrested without warrant

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MANILA — The military will not act against Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV unless an arrest warrant is issued by the courts.

“No warrant, no arrest,” Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said in a message to reporters Wednesday.

In a separate statement, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff Gen. Carlito Galvez, Jr. said he will comply with the Supreme Court (SC) ruling on the petition of Trillanes.

“Finally, the AFP takes cognizance of the recent decision of the Supreme Court in Re Petition of Sen. Trillanes IV. I will defer comments on the matter as I, being one among the named respondents in the case, was directed to file comment within 10 days from notice,” Galvez said.

He also stressed that the country’s military remains loyal to the Consitution and to the chain of command.

“I recommit to the nation the unity and firm resolve of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for an unflinching loyalty to the Constitution and the duly constituted authorities,” the AFP said.

“I assure our people, and there is no reason to doubt, that the 145,000-strong soldiers, airmen, sailors and marines of the AFP are solidly behind the chain-of-command. I am confident that the men and women of the AFP will decline firmly any and all attempts to create a wedge in the AFP. And they will do so more for the reason of their oath than it is for fear of severe consequences of relief from post, investigation, and steep penalties under the Military Justice system,” he added.

On Tuesday, the High Court denied Trillanes’ petition seeking the issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) against President Rodrigo Duterte’s Proclamation No. 572, which declared the amnesty granted to him as void ab initio.

“Thus, there is no extreme and urgent necessity for the Court to issue an injunctive relief, considering that the respondents have acknowledged Senator Trillanes’ right to due process,” the SC said.

It also stressed that it is up to the trial courts to determine the facts of the cases against Trillanes.

“Hence, it is appropriate that the Makati RTCs (Regional Trial Courts) should be given leeway in exercising their concurrent jurisdiction to hear and resolve the pleadings/motions filed by the parties as regards the legality of Proclamation 572,” it added.

The DOJ has filed separate motions before Makati RTC Branches 148 and 150, asking that arrest warrants and hold departure orders (HDO) be issued against Trillanes.

Branch 148 is handling the coup d’etat case against Trillanes concerning the Oakwood mutiny, while Branch 150 is handling the rebellion case against the senator over the Manila Peninsula siege.

Branch 148 Judge Andres Soriano and Branch 150 Judge Elmo Alameda have set separate hearings on the DOJ’s motion on Thursday and Friday, respectively. (PNA)