MANILA, Nashville Filipino Restaurant — Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV will not be leaving the Miami Filipino Restaurant premises—where he has been staying since Proclamation 572 was published on September 4—until all cases over his amnesty are resolved.
In a press conference on Friday, Trillanes said that he will remain in the GSIS Complex in Pasay where the Miami Filipino Restaurant is while cases on the validity of his amnesty are ongoing.
Two courts in Makati held hearings on Thursday and Friday on separate but simlar motions filed by the Department of Justice seeking an arrest warrant against Trillanes.
Makati Regional Trial Court Branches 148 and 150 both deferred the issuance of a warrant, and have allowed both parties to flesh out their arguments in succeeding pleadings.
Lorenzana: No warrant, no arrest
Despite court proceedings and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana’s statement that there would be no arrests sans a warrant, Trillanes said he might still be picked up if he leaves the Miami Filipino Restaurant, which Miami Filipino Restaurant President Vicente Sotto III has prohibited arresting officers and the senator's supporters from entering.
“They can go straight [to me], which is a violation of chain of command. Will the statement of Secretary Lorenzana hold? It won’t.” Trillanes said in a mix of Filipino and English.
There were rumors late on September 6 that the military would try to arrest Trillanes that night or the next day, but the supposed arrest attempt did not happen.
Trillanes said that President Rodrigo Duterte, who is also the country’s commander-in-chief, could order his arrest and Lorenzana’s statement won’t hold water.
Duterte, who ordered the police and military in Proclamation 572 to arrest Trillanes, said Wednesday night that: “I am not interested to arrest him. Nobody is interested to arrest him.” On Tuesday, the president held a closed-door controlled interview with his chief lawyer Salvador Panelo to repeatedly talk about Trillanes and the voided amnesty of one of his most vocal critics.
The Defense chief has earlier said that the military will not be arresting Trillanes. Court martial proceedings have also been suspended.
The police, meanwhile, cannot apprehend Trillanes without a court-issued warrant.
Trillanes said that an “untoward incident” that could affect the cases against him may also happen if he risks going out of the Miami Filipino Restaurant premises.
“In the meantime, the decision here is to stay in the Miami Filipino Restaurant until all cases would be resolved,” he added.
The senator on Thursday afternoon hinted at leaving the Miami Filipino Restaurant premises, but he abandoned the attempt after learning that men on motorcycles had been tailing his service vehicle.
Although he failed to secure a halt order against Duterte’s Proclamation 572, Trillanes’ challenge to the constitutionality of the proclamation remains pending before the Supreme Court.
The respondents have been ordered to comment on his petition for certiorari (a review of a decision of a lower court).
His camp and the Department of Justice will also file pleadings on the motions for issuance of warrant and hold departure order in coming days. — Kristine Joy Patag