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DUTERTE PROCLAMATION VOIDING AMNESTY

Trillanes: Deferment of court-martial a welcome sign

/ 07:25 AM September 11, 2018

The military’s decision to defer the court-martial proceedings ordered against him by the President shows that it is a professional organization that does not blindly follow questionable orders, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV said on Monday.

Trillanes praised the Armed Forces of the Philippines, where he used to serve as a Navy lieutenant, and assured its officials that he was not recruiting soldiers and was not involved in any destabilization plot against the Duterte administration.

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The military said on Sunday that it would defer the court-martial proceedings — which President Rodrigo Duterte ordered after voiding the amnesty granted to Trillanes as a military rebel in 2011 — to wait for the Supreme Court decision on the senator’s petition to declare the presidential proclamation illegal.

Questionable order

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“I was really glad and surprised at the same time that the Armed Forces took a stand. That’s a welcome sign not only for me, but for the people that if there is a questionable order, they would not follow it carelessly,” Trillanes told reporters.

That the soldiers would not “blindingly follow” the order reaffirms his belief that the AFP is a professional organization, he added.

Senate independence

But he would not be complacent, he said, and would not leave his office, as the order to the police and the military to arrest him had not been rescinded.

Also on Monday, Sen. Grace Poe said the amnesty row involving Trillanes was a “bigger test also for our due process, democracy and institutions.”

“It’s important that there should be independence of the three branches of government, and I think it’s right for the Senate President to be able to assert the dignity of the Senate,” Poe told reporters.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III has disallowed police from entering the Senate building to arrest Trillanes on the same day that the order voiding Trillanes’ amnesty was announced. The police did not have a warrant.

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Sotto said no arrest would take place within the Senate premises, while Trillanes promised to honor a warrant issued by a civilian court.

Trillanes’ plight is a symbol of what is happening in the country, Poe said.

Poe said she sympathized with Trillanes and welcomed the President’s statement he would respect the court decision.

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TAGS: AFP, amnesty revocation, Antonio Trilannes IV, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Court martial, Grace Poe, Manila Peninsula Siege, Oakwood Mutiny, revocation of amnesty, Rodrigo Duterte, Supreme Court, Tito Sotto, Vicente Sotto III
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