Trillanes, ‘living proof’ democracy is alive: Panelo

MANILA Senator Antonio Trillanes IV is living proof that democracy is alive in the country.

This, according to Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo on Wednesday as he rejected the opposition lawmaker's claim that the arrest against him over rebellion charges has weakened democracy.

Look what he is doing, he is maligning the government and nandiyan pa rin siya (he's still there), Panelo said in an interview over radio station dzRH.

Kung walang demokrasya dito, 'di either na-salvage na iyan, nakulong na iyan o pinatay na iyan. Kung totoo iyong mga pinagsasabi niya. Eh hindi totoo kasi, kaya nandiyan pa rin siya (If there is no democracy here, he could have been 'salvaged,' jailed, or killed. If what he's been saying is true. But it's not true, because he's still there), he added.

Panelo further slammed Trillanes, a staunch critic of President Rodrigo R. Duterte, for using his position as senator to make false accusations against the President.

Earlier, he claimed that Trillanes was planting seeds of hate, seeds of sedition by going against the government and that karma was the reason why he was arrested.

Panelo said the arrest of the former Navy officer was given due process and that it was only a matter of defending himself in court.

Ang kagandahan sa kaniya, binigyan siya ng due process kaya nga pumasok sa hukuman (What's good about it, he was given due process that's why his case is now being heard in court). So di pabayaan mo (So let him be)he prepares himself to defend himself in court. Iyon na lang ang gawin niya (That's what he should do), he added.

He said Trillanes should be glad that it was Judge Elmo Alameda of Makati Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 150 who issued an arrest warrant against him because he is known for his probity and independence.

Duterte's top lawyer also denied critics' claims that Trillanes' arrest was illegal.

How can that be illegal? There is a motion, pinagbigyan iyong dalawang sides, pinag-aralan ng judge, nag-isyu ng warrant (both sides were heard, the judge reviewed it, there was a warrant issued)so how that be illegal? Trillanes has the option to go to the higher courts if he is questioning the issuance of the warrant, Panelo said.

On Tuesday, Trillanes went with arresting officers to the Makati Police Station for booking procedures, and eventually to the Makati RTC Branch 150 to post a PHP200,000 bail.

Alameda issued a warrant of arrest against him for his role in the Manila Peninsula siege in 2007.

Last month, Duterte issued Proclamation No. 572 declaring void ab initio (from the beginning) the amnesty granted by the previous administration to Trillanes.

The proclamation states that Trillanes failed to comply with mandatory requirements, such as the amnesty application form and admission of guilt to the crimes of rebellion he committed when he led the Oakwood Mutiny in 2003 and Manila Peninsula siege in 2007 against former president and now House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Duterte ordered the military and police to employ all lawful means to arrest Trillanes, prompting him to seek refuge in the Senate.

Trillanes later asked for temporary restraining order against Proclamation 572 but the Supreme Court turned it down. His cases are now with the lower courts. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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