Duterte says Trillanes to be arrested only if there's court order
President Rodrigo Duterte ordered Thursday the police and military to arrest only opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes IV when the court issues an order.
In an interview at the military headquarters in Quezon City, Duterte said that nobody, including him, was interested at the moment to apprehend Trillanes.
"Nobody’s interested to arrest (him). The military does not have the interest. I do not have the interest," he said.
Duterte said the military has not constituted the court martial that will continue to try the former Navy official who participated in the two failed coup attempts during the Arroyo administration.
"The police, I said, do not arrest until there is a warrant of arrest by the court. The military has not (issued a warrant of arrest). It has not constituted the martial law court," Duterte said.
"So it’s only the civilian court. So if there's no order, don't touch him," he said.
Duterte said it is up to Trillanes if he wants to continue to stay at the Senate "as a boarder."
Since Malacanang made public Proclamation No. 572 early this month, Trillanes has decided to remain within the Senate building to avoid possible arrest.
The proclamation declares that the amnesty granted by former President Benigno Aquino III to Trillanes was "void ab initio" for his alleged failure to comply with the minimum requirements, such as not personally applying for the amnesty and for not admitting his crime.
Duterte also later insisted that Trillanes' certificate of amnesty should have been signed by Aquino and not by then Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin.
The Department of Justice has been asking the two branches of Makati City Regional Trial Court where separate cases of rebellion and coup d'etat against Trillanes were previously filed before the amnesty was granted to issue warrants of arrest against the senator.
Trillanes has claimed that the administration has been politically persecuting him because he is a staunch critic of the President. Celerina Monte/DMS