Arrest order vs Trillanes ‘very similar’ to De Lima, says ex-SolGen
The presidential directive to arrest Senator Antonio Trillanes IV brings back memories from the time when Senator Leila De Lima was arrested in 2017, former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay said Friday.
“I suppose this is similar to the case of Senator Leila De Lima na kliyente ko na hinanapan ng rason para mailagay sa detention center (who was my client and to whom authorities forced to find a reason to place her in the detention center),” Hilbay said in an ambush interview outside Trillanes’ office in the Senate.
According to Hilbay, it is “very unusual” that the government is exhausting all efforts to find potential reasons to jail Trillanes, a known fierce critic of President Rodrigo Duterte.
“I think it’s clear to me that there is a political witch-hunt to justify a political result, which is silencing by sending in jail,” he said.
He also echoed Trillanes’ defense that belied the grounds noted in Mr. Duterte’s Proclamation No. 572, which states that the senator’s amnesty was voided ab initio because he failed to file his application for it and did not admit guilt for his involvement in the 2003 and 2007 uprisings.
The 2003 Oakwood mutiny and 2007 Manila Peninsula siege were staged to protest alleged corruption during the administration of then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who is now Speaker of the House of Representatives and ally of the Duterte administration.
Trillanes’ amnesty was granted in 2010 by then President Benigno S. Aquino III and completed in 2011.
“Hindi ka naman magkakaroon ng certification of amnesty kung hindi ka nag-apply (You won’t have a certification of amnesty if you didn’t apply for it),” he said, noting that admission of guilt is already written in the application form.
He said authorities backing the arrest of Trillanes wants a non-bailable case.
Despite this, however, Hilbay said he is hoping for a fair decision from the court, which reviews the basis for the warrant of arrest against Trillanes.
Hilbay stressed Trillanes cannot be arrested without a warrant. /kga
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