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Nagimpake na! Trillanes readies for arrest

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by Xave Gregorio

While still questioning President Rodrigo Duterte’s proclamation declaring his amnesty void, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV said he has prepared for his possible arrest.

Asked if he has packed his bags in preparation for his arrest, Trillanes answered in the affirmative.

“Mayroon nang ganun. So kailangan ‘yan diba. Mga toiletries man lang, ganyan,” Trillanes said Friday (September 7).

He added that there are protocols in place which would guide him and his team how to respond to an arrest.

“Siyempre, ‘yung abogado [ko] should be present, then we would consult the senators and the Senate leadership kung ano ba ito,” Trillanes said.

Rumors surfaced late Thursday evening (September 6) that Trillanes would be arrested by the military within that night to Sunday (September 9).

However, this was refuted by Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III in a text message, calling it “fake news.”

“Hindi kaya may nagi-stretch lang ng istorya at coverage niyo? Fake news. Stretching the story,” Sotto said.

The military and the Department of National Defense are insisting that Trillanes should be subjected to a court martial, as President Rodrigo Duterte’s Proclamation No. 572, which voided the senator’s amnesty, supposedly put him back into military service.

Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Jose Balajadia said the chamber would follow the same protocol should a court martial, through the provost marshal, issue an arrest order against Trillanes.

Once the provost marshal orders Trillanes’ arrest, the military police must first coordinate with Bajadia, who would then talk to Sotto. A copy of the order would be shown to Trillanes afterwards.

If Trillanes recognizes the validity of the order, Senate security would escort him out of the premises of the chamber for him to be arrested.

However, Trillanes said he and other senators are not going to recognize an arrest order from the military and would only acknowledge an arrest warrant from a civil court.

Trillanes has been separated from military service since 2007, when he first ran for senator.