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May warrant na! Roque insists Trillanes can be arrested

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By Prince Golez

Senators charged with a capital offense do not have congressional immunity from arrest, Malacanang said on Wednesday.

Trillanes and several other Magdalo soldiers were detained and charged with coup d’etat in connection with the 2007 Manila Peninsula siege and the 2010 Manila Peninsula siege. The senator was released from detention in December 2010 after being granted provision liberty pending the approval of his amnesty.

“Ang tanging meron lang pong immunity ay ang Presidente at ang immunity ng isang senador ay para sa mga kaso na nag parusa ay 6 years and one day lamang – ibig sabihin iyong kasong libel. Pero dahil ang kudeta po ay may parusang panghabang-buhay na pagkakakulong, eh kinakailagan po sumurender. At wala pong immunity ang mga senador para sa isang capital offense ng kudeta,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said.

Roque said that a warrant of arrest has already been issued against the former Navy lieutenant.

“Ang pagkakaintindi ko po, meron na pong alias warrant of arrest na-isyu ang ating hukuman. Ibig sabihin po niyan, wala pong taong kahit sino man ang magsasabi na hindi sila pupuwedeng arestuhin ‘no,” the official said.

No arrest has been made out of respect to the Senate, he added.

On Tuesday, Trillanes was placed under the custody of Senate Presidente Vicente Sotto III after President Rodrigo Duterte signed Proclamation No. 572, nullifying his amnesty, and ordered his arrest.

“Kung hindi pa naman naaresto, ito po siguro ay dahil respeto lang sa Senado. Pero gaya ng sinabi ko po, no one is above the law. Unless meron po silang immunity; at tanging Presidente lang po ang may ganyang immunity,” Roque said.

“Pero nakita po natin na iyong kaso rin ni Leila De Lima, eh pinagbigyan lamang, pero… bilang kortesiya. Pero wala pong balakid para pasukin ng mga police ang Senado at arestuhin doon si Senator Trillanes habang meron pong alias warrant of arrest na nakabinbin laban sa kanya,” he added.