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Trillanes backtracks, extends Senate stay further

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by Xave Gregorio

Contrary to his earlier statement, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV would remain in the Senate after plainclothes personnel supposedly trailed his car when it exited the Senate’s premises last night and this afternoon.

Trillanes said two men on motorcycles followed his vehicle last night and this afternoon, when it left the Senate to be refueled.

“Ito’y sinundan ng ilang mga nakamotorsiklo na personnel at nakuhanan ito ng photographs,” Trillanes said Thursday (September 13) in a media briefing.

“And at the same time, it was reported to us na suddenly, nung na-report nung media na [uuwi ako,] nagkaroon ng augmentation ‘yung [Philippine National Police] personnel outside and ang intention daw paglabas ko they will stop me from going back in,” he continued.

Pasay City police are typically deployed near the Senate as part of security measures.

Trillanes added that his military sources say that the order for him to be arrested stays.

“So with that, ang decision is again to remain here in the Senate for as long as walang categorical statement ‘yung Armed Forces of the Philippines na hindi ako aarestuhin by virtue of that order or any court martial charge,” he said.

President Rodrigo Duterte, who voided Trillanes’ amnesty, said the opposition senator would not be arrested without a warrant.

This statement was among the reasons cited by the Supreme Court in junking Trillanes’ bid for a temporary restraining order against Duterte’s Proclamation No. 572.

But Trillanes believes that the military would still arrest him, based on an order and not a warrant.

“The AFP doesn’t issue warrants, at mayroong existing order doon sa mga AFP units to arrest me. And there is no order cancelling that previous arrest order,” Trillanes said.

“It shows na talagang ano ‘to, hindi mo mapagkakatiwalaan ‘yung salita ni Mr. Duterte,” he said.

The government says that Duterte’s voiding of Trillanes’ amnesty reverts him back to the military, which means he can be brought under the court martial.

The military has reconstituted a court martial to hear Trillanes’ cases, which have been dismissed. Trillanes has also resigned from service when he first ran for senator in 2007.

In an earlier media briefing, Trillanes announced that he may “quietly” go home tonight.

But after the supposed incidents, Trillanes would continue to be holed up in his office in the Senate.