Robredo decries attempt to curtail dissent amid Trillanes’ arrest
Surprised by the court’s issuance of an arrest warrant against opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, Vice President Leni Robredo on Tuesday decried what she said was a seeming attempt to silence dissent.
“Hindi ko pa nakikita iyong sinasabing ini-issue na warrant of arrest, pero medyo nagugulat lang tayo doon—nagugulat tayo kasi ang alam natin, iyong kaso for rebellion has already been dismissed with the granting of the amnesty,” Robredo said in an interview at the Senate.
(I’ve not seen the arrest warrant but we’re a bit surprise—-we’re surprised because as far as I know the case of rebellion has already been dismissed with the granting of the amnesty)
While she has yet to see the warrant of arrest issued by Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 150, Robredo believes that there was no more basis for it since Trillanes was already granted amnesty by the previous administration.
Asked if she thinks there was a crackdown against the opposition, the Vice President said she could only hope there was no such move against them.
“Pero iyong nakita natin with Senator Trillanes, with Chief Justice (Ma. Lourdes) Sereno, with Senator Leila (de Lima), parang an attempt to silence dissent,” she said.
(But what we see with Senator Trillanes, with Chief Justice Sereno, with Senator Leila, it seems an attempt to silence dissent.”
Sereno was unseated when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the quo warranto petition filed against her by Solicitor General Jose Calida, the government’s principal lawyer.
De Lima, meanwhile, has been detained over drug charges. Like Trillanes, De Lima was also a known fierce critic of the Duterte administration.
“Nakakalungkot ito, kasi pakiramdam natin napakahalaga ng dissent sa isang healthy na democracy, na dapat sana binibigyan ng lugar iyong mga dissenting voices para mas mabuti iyong pamumuno,” Robredo added.
(This is upsetting because we feel that dissent is important for a healthy democracy, that dissenting voices should hopefully be given space in order to allow better leadership.)
The Vice President was interviewed at the Senate after defending the proposed 2019 budget of her office.
Incidentally, the arrest warrant was served to Trillanes in the Senate on the same day. /kga