Trillanes to Duterte: Duwag ka!
By Xave Gregorio
Even while facing possible arrest, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV remains feisty, calling President Rodrigo Duterte a “coward” after he declared an amnesty grant to the opposition lawmaker as void from the start.
“Mr. Duterte, duwag ka. Inantay mo pang makaalis ka bago mo nilabas itong proclamation mo,” Trillanes said in a statement Tuesday (September 4).
Duterte’s Proclamation No. 572 declared the amnesty granted to Trillanes by former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III as void from the start, as he supposedly failed to apply for amnesty and did not admit guilt.
Trillanes refuted this by showing the Senate a news report about his filing an application for amnesty.
He decried Duterte’s proclamation as “political persecution” meant to stifle the opposition.
If he is arrested, Trillanes would become the second opposition lawmaker to be put behind bars following Senator Leila de Lima, who was jailed over drug charges.
But Trillanes is not backing down despite the imminent threat of being detained yet again after eight years of freedom.
“Mr. Duterte hindi ako natatakot sayo. Snaa hindi ka umalis, para kang duwag niyan. Bago mo inisyu ‘to, lumayas ka muna para kunwari wala kang kinalaman dito,” he said in a chance interview.
Trillanes and others involved in the unsuccessful Oakwood Mutiny, which aimed to oust then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, was first jailed in 2003 and was only freed in 2010 after Aquino granted them amnesty.
Proclamation No. 75, signed in October 2010, “extinguish[ed] any criminal liability for acts committed in connection, incident or related to” the Oakwood Mutiny in July 2003, the Marines standoff in February 2006 and the Manila Peninsula siege in November 2007.
This was concurred to by both houses of Congress in December 2010.
Trillanes said Duterte would have to gain Congress’ concurrence again if he wants to have the amnesty grant revoked.
But he and other senators in the minority bloc say that the revocation of the amnesty would result in double jeopardy, as the amnesty grant has led to the dismissal of rebellion and coup d’etat charges against Trillanes.
“He is a senator and under the Constitution, he cannot be arrested while Congress is in session, except