Published: Tue, September 25, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Philippine President’s fiercest critic ordered arrested

Philippine President’s fiercest critic ordered arrested

A Philippine court ordered President Rodrigo Duterte's fiercest critic in Congress arrested Tuesday after the president revoked the senator's 2011 amnesty for a failed coup attempt and revived rebellion charges against him in an unprecedented legal move the legislator called a blow to democracy.

The arrest followed a revocation by Duterte last month of a 2010 amnesty granted to Trillanes for his role in two coup attempts in the mid-2000s.

A second court hearing has now been set for 21 November, when the prosecution will present evidence against Trillanes. This case goes beyond me.

Under Duterte, another opposition senator has been jailed on illegal drug charges, a critical Supreme Court chief justice has been ousted by fellow judges, and foreign critics, including an Australian nun, have been barred from entering the Philippines or threatened with deportation. "This is clearly Mr Duterte silencing his political critics, those who tell the truth". "This (case) has nothing to do with anything except for the vengeance of Duterte and his underlings".

Trillanes, shown September 7, is among President Rodrigo Duterte's most vocal critics. "As president, [Duterte] can not outrightly murder political opponents without creating a national crisis", De Lima added, so instead he resorts to "jailing us as common criminals".

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Along with De Lima, Trillanes is Duterte's loudest critic telling AFP a year ago: "This man is a sociopath and he has the mindset of a hitman".

Trillanes has strongly denied the president's claims and has provided news reports and defence department documents to counter them.

Senator Antonio Trillanes was taken into custody and then posted bail shortly after a court-issued warrant forced him from the Senate building, where he has holed up for weeks to avoid arrest.

"In a view of the above disquisition, the prosecution's omnibus motion dated September 7, 2018 for issuance of warrant of arrest and hold departure order against Sen. Trillanes" detention could have a "chilling affect" on other critics, Conde wrote.

Trillanes had long provoked Duterte's ire, condemning his drug war - which human rights groups say is responsible for at least 12,000 deaths - accusing him, his son, and members of his administration of corruption, and supporting the International Criminal Court's preliminary examination into alleged extrajudicial killings. Trillanes and opposition groups have dismissed the claim as a lie and asked him to focus instead on addressing poverty, inflation, rice shortages, traffic jams and a decline in the value of the peso currency.

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