Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, who stayed in the custody of the Senate for 25 days after President Rodrigo Duterte revoked the amnesty granted to him by the previous administration in connection with the 2003 Oakwood Mutiny and 2007 Hotel Peninsula Siege, finally came home Saturday.
But he immediately said he would return to the Senate on Monday and would follow up on his pending
resolutions against Solicitor General Jose Calida, Special Assistant to the President Christopher Go and Duterte’s alleged involvement in illegal drugs.
Trillanes was leading a Senate investigation into a Calida family-owned security agency which had landed several lucrative government contracts.
The senator had also filed a resolution seeking a Senate probe on possible conflict of interest arising from government contracts obtained by the kin of government employees and officials, particularly that of Go.
At the same time, Trillanes continued to criticize the “double-standard” Duterte’s war on drugs.
Trillanes left the Senate at 10 am and arrived at his home in Antipolo City around 11:30 am, a day after a Makati City regional trial court judge deferred ruling on the issuance of arrest and hold departure order in connection with his non-bailable case of coup d’etat.
“This journey has been up and down, like a rollercoaster. It’s a huge relief that I got to see my family and our house,” Trillanes told members of the media who tailed his service vehicle all the way from the Senate in Pasay City to Antipolo.
The senator also showed to reporters a laminated copy of his certificate of amnesty issued to him by former President Benigno Aquino III in January 2011.
“This was laminated and yet they are asking for my application form. That’s crazy. This will not be given if I did not apply [for amnesty], It’s common sense but the administration of President Duterte has no common sense,” said Trillanes, who was welcomed by his family, close friend Magdalo Party-list Rep. Gary Alejano, and his pet dog Bruno.
The military-man turned politician and known critic of Duterte also expressed relief upon arrival at his house, saying it was the completion of what he called a “political miracle.”
“I attribute that to all those who prayed for my welfare and safety. I thanked (sic) all of you,” said Trillanes who had bared threats to his family while he was staying at the Senate for nearly one month.
Makati RTC branch 150 Judge Elmo Alameda recently issued a warrant of arrest and a hold departure order against Trillanes for the rebellion case filed against him for his involvement in the 2003 Oakwood Mutiny. Trillanes posted P200,000 bail.
On Friday, Makati RTC branch 148 Judge Andres Bartolome Soriano deferred ruling on the issuance of arrest and hold departure order, and set a Friday (Oct. 5) hearing on the separate case of coup d’etat relative to his participation in the 2007 Hotel Peninsula Siege which is non-bailable.
Trillanes said he would make the most out of his temporary victory.
Alameda gave the orders, 21 days after Duterte signed Proclamation No. 572, which stated that Trillanes had no pending application for amnesty.
Soriano, on the other hand, ordered government prosecutors and the camp of Trillanes’ to submit evidence and set a hearing for 9 am on Oct. 5.
“Without necessarily reopening the case or giving due course” to the prosecution’s motion, Soriano said, the parties were given a chance to present evidence on:
• Whether or not Trillanes filed the requisite application for amnesty under Proclamation 75 before he was granted amnesty in 2011, and
• Whether or not there was an admission of guilt on his part at the time he applied for and was granted amnesty.
Malacañang, for its part, said it respected the Makati court’s deferment of the ruling on the bid for the issuance of an arrest warrant and hold departure order against Trillanes.
“That is [a] court decision which we respect and defer to,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a text message to reporters.
State prosecutors earlier asked the court to order Trillanes’ arrest and prevent him from leaving the country, saying the nullification of his amnesty meant that the case against the senator must be pursued.
Last month, Duterte voided the amnesty granted by his predecessor to Trillanes for his alleged failure to file an application form and admit guilt for his crime.
Prosecutors said the rebellion charges filed against Trillanes had yet to be terminated by the court despite the issuance of Proclamation No. 75 issued by former President Aquino which granted him amnesty.
Trillanes, a former Navy lieutenant, was among those who led mutiny in Oakwood Premiere Hotel in Makati City on July 27, 2003 and the Manila Peninsula siege on Nov. 29, 2007.