Philippine President's Chief Political Critic Arrested

Senator Antonio Trillanes IV at the Makati Police headquarters after police took him into custody

Senator Antonio Trillanes IV at the Makati Police headquarters after police took him into custody

Duterte had voided the amnesty granted by the past administration to Trillanes for his alleged failure to file an application form and admit guilt for two failed uprisings in 2003 and 2007.

The arrest followed a revocation by Duterte last month of a 2010 amnesty granted to Trillanes for his role in two coup attempts in the mid-2000s.

A team led by Makati police chief Senior Superintendent Rogelio Simon confirmed that the police served the arrest warrant on Trillanes yesterday for the charge of rebellion, hours after the document was released by Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 150 Executive Judge Elmo Alameda.

On Tuesday, the court that granted the Department of Justice's request for a warrant to arrest Trillanes said it had found "factual and legal bases" for Duterte's allegations that the senator had not complied with the legal requirements of the amnesty.

Philippine police on Tuesday arrested a lawmaker who is among President Rodrigo Duterte's most vocal critics, just minutes after a court issued a warrant on revived charges of rebellion that were dropped in 2011 after an amnesty.

"Senator Antonio Trillanes IV has once again played the victim card, resorting to ad hominem attacks against the President".

Legal experts and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, the largest lawyers' group in the country, have expressed alarm over the legal moves against Mr Trillanes for offences that were cancelled by a 2011 amnesty approved by Mr Duterte's predecessor and Congress.




"This is a debacle and a defeat of democracy", Trillanes, a former navy officer, who accompanied arresting officers into a vehicle and was taken to a police station to be photographed and fingerprinted before posting bail, told reporters.

Another opposition senator, Leila de Lima, also a fierce critic of Duterte, has been detained in Camp Crame since February 2017, for drug charges.

Trillanes earlier posted bail to gain temporary freedom after the court ordered his arrest in connection with the rebellion case against him. "This (case) has nothing to do with anything except for the vengeance of Duterte and his underlings".

"Let us stop the drama by presscon and allow the legal process to take its course", he added.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said Duterte would respect the decision of the judiciary.

Carlos Conde, Asia researcher for Human Rights Watch, said: "The arrest today of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV is part of the persecution of critics of the Duterte administration, the latest in the relentless campaign to silence those who dared to challenge the president's murderous "drug war".

The court said Duterte's Proclamation No. 572 was factual.

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