Duterte orders cops to wait for court's issuance of arrest warrant vs Trillanes
President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered authorities to wait for the court to issue a warrant of arrest against opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes IV.
In a press briefing in Jordan, Presidential Spokesperon Harry Roque said while the military could effect an arrest against Trillanes due to the court martial proceeding against him, Duterte wants to respect the due process of law.
Contrary to earlier statements by Justice Secrtary Menardo Guevarra and other Malacanang officials, Roque said Duterte admitted he did not have the power to order Trillanes' arrest, unless it was a case of effecting a warrantless arrest.
"You have to have to comply with the existing procedure before you can arrest because you know the President does not have the power to arrest unless the crime has been committed within his presence, which is an instance of a valid justification for warrantless arrest," said Roque, who is also a lawyer.
"So he recognized that only the courts can issue the warrant of arrest and he made it very clear that although a military tribunal could order his (Trillanes) arrest, he prefers and he ordered that authorities wait for the decision of the regional trial court. He explicitly said he made this decision because he himself was part of a judicial process when he was a fiscal. So he knows criminal procedure, he knows what will happen and he wants the process to continue," he added.
When Malacanang made public the proclamation early this week voiding the granting of Trillanes' amnesty for failure to allegedly comply with the minimum requirements of admission of guilt and personal application for the amnesty, the police were immediately sent to the Senate to arrest Trillanes.
However, the Senate leaderhip decided to take custody of the senator, a staunch critic of the President.
The state prosecutors have filed a “Very Urgent Ex-Parte Omnibus Motion for the Issuance of Hold Departure Order and Alias Warrant" against Trillanes last Wednesday before the Makati RTC shortly after the issuance of the proclamation.
But Makati Presiding Judge Andres Bartolome Soriano has set the hearing on the motion on September 13 and he also gave Trillanes five days to answer the petition.
Trillanes has claimed that the move to annul his amnesty granted by the Aquino administration was a politic persecution. But Malacanang denied this. Celerina Monte/DMS