Abusado masyado! Drilon: Presidential proclamation can’t be basis for arrest
A presidential proclamation is “not equivalent” to a warrant of arrest, Senate Minority Leader Frank Drilon said on Thursday.
Drilon made the remark amid President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to arrest Senator Antonio Trillanes IV after he issued Presidential Proclamation No. 572 revoking the amnesty granted to the former Navy captain in 2011 by then president Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino.
“This is the first time I see a presidential proclamation directing the arrest of people,” Drilon said in a television interview.
“Under our Constitution and our rules, only the judiciary can issue a warrant of arrest after the judge has personally examined the documents and the evidence presented would warrant the issuance of warrant of arrest, after a case is filed,” he said.
Rebellion charges were filed against Trillanes during the term of then president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for leading the 2003 Oakwood mutiny and 2007 Manila Peninsula siege designed to overthrow her.
Asked whether the President’s warrantless arrest is a reminiscent of martial law, Drilon said, “DThere are some who say that the proclamation really puts together the power of the judiciary and the executive.”
“Pero, hindi naman siguro. At this stage especially because the press is there. In the martial law days. We don’t talk this way; we just get arrested,” he said.
Pressed to comment on the possibility that the executive branch will insist to have Trillanes arrested within the Senate premises, Drilon said, “Precisely because of that we have encouraged Sen. Trillanes to go to the Supreme Court to question the proclamation ordering his arrest, voiding his amnesty approval, and get a restraining order against the implementation of Presidential Proclamation No. 572.”
He said the Senate leadership has decided that Trillanes would not leave the Senate premises until after the Supreme Court has decided on his petition for temporary restraining order (TRO) stopping the implementation of the proclamation.
“We had a meeting with the Senate President immediately after this came out and as minority leader I requested Senate President (Tito) Sotto to allow Sen. Trillanes to stay in the custody of the Senate and to protect the dignity of the Senate, not to allow the arrest within the Senate premises,” Drilon said.
“Senate President Sotto agreed without any reservation and after that, we had a caucus with 22 senators and unanimously, we supported the decision of Senate President Sotto. So this not only the position of the Senate President but of the entire Senate,” he added.