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Duterte admits targeting Trillanes, then changes his statement

/ 02:58 PM September 08, 2018

President Rodrigo Duterte arrives at Davao City International Airport at around 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018, from his state visit in Jordan and Israel. (Photo by BARRY M. OHAYLAN / Inquirer Mindanao)

Updated @ 6:10 p.m., Sept. 8, 2018

President Rodrigo Duterte admitted targeting Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV by issuing an arrest order on him after revoking his amnesty, but he later contradicted his own statement.

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“Bakit ko tinarget [Why did I target him]? Well I only have one word… Do not do unto others what you don’t want them to do to you,” he said in a press briefing in Davao City Saturday upon his return from trips to Israel and Jordan.

But later during the briefing, Duterte revoked what he just said, noting he did not really target Trillanes even though there were a lot of other soldiers who joined two failed mutinies in 2003 and 2007.

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“Hindi ko siya tinarget. May sinabi si Calida na mali [in the amnesty application],” Duterte said, referring to Solicitor General Jose Calida whom he said researched the grounds for him to declare and issue Proclamation No. 572, which ordered the arrest of Trillanes.

[I didn’t target him. Calida said something is wrong in the amnesty application.]

READ: Duterte says it was Calida who found flaw in Trillanes amnesty grant

He said it was the “president’s prerogative” to single out Trillanes because of supposed irregularities in his application for amnesty.

“Kasi magsabi si Trillanes: ‘Bakit ako lang? Karami-raming pumasok diyan sa kudeta kudeta na ‘yan’. Ang sagot ko sa kanya is it’s the president’s prerogative,” he said.

[Trillanes might ask: “Why only me? A lot of soldiers were involved in that coup.” My answer to him will be it’s the president’s prerogative.]

“You read the Philippine Constitution. The President shall have the power to pardon and grant amnesty with the concurrence, with the agreement with Congress,” he added.

According to the President, Calida did not have any problem with other soldiers involved in both mutinies against then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

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“Ang sabi ni Calida, wala naman akong problema sa ibang nagkudeta. Kaibigan ko naman ‘yan. Ang sabi ko, bakit ko sila ipakulong?” he said.

[Calida said he doesn’t have any problem with others involved in the coup. They are my friends, why would I jail them?]

In a press briefing, Trillanes revealed that he was about to investigate the Calida on the P359-million worth of government contracts he allegedly secured before his arrest order was issued. /lb/asu /atm

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TAGS: Antonio Trillanes IV, Jose Calida, revocation of amnesty, Rodrigo Duterte
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