Military police tasked to arrest Sen. Antonio Trillanes wait outside the Senate building
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) may arrest Sen. Antonio Trillanes any time even without a warrant of arrest.
This is to resume the court martial’s hearing of administrative cases against the senator for violation of Articles of War 96 (Conduct Unbecoming an Officer and a Gentleman) and Articles of War 97 (Conduct Prejudicial to Good Order and Military Discipline) which were suspended by the amnesty in 2011.
Department of National Defense (DND) Internal Audit Service Chief Atty. Ronald Patrick Rubin said the voiding of the amnesty granted to Trillanes authorizes provost marshals of the AFP to arrest him under the military court.
“The acts for which he was charged happened while he was in active service. So although he is a civilian now the jurisdiction of the court martial was acquired while he was an active officer of the armed forces,” said Atty. Rubin.
However, Andolong clarified that out of respect for the Senate, the military police tasked to arrest Trillanes remain outside the premises of the Senate building while higher AFP officials continue to negotiate with Senate President Tito Sotto on voluntarily turning over Trillanes.
“Nirerespeto naman namin ang Senado, we are a civilized people first of all,” he said.
Rubin assured fair treatment from arresting officers when the time comes for the arrest.
“We have an officer present there together with MP’s and we trust that they will exercise good judgement in handling the situation. This organization is a very professional organization,” he said.
The AFP is currently forming a five-member general court martial that will hear the case of Trillanes.
At present, Andolong said Trillanes should prove that he submitted an application for amnesty because DND could not find a copy of it in their records.
“May ceremonial na ginawa dito sa Aguinaldo, nagkapirmahan sila ng form, unfortunately we don’t have a copy of that and of the form; kahit blangko. Eh this was a unique case that was applied to their group,” he said.
Andolong also mentioned the video taken in 2011 that showed Trillanes swearing an oath and presenting a filled out application form.
“I was told that his note of allegiance na pinakita niya doon sa video, yung picture, unfortunately mukhang siya lang ata ang may hawak ng original, dahil we cannot locate it at the moment. Kung he submitted it to the committee o Malacañang, hindi namin alam. Only he can answer that,” he said.
Andolong added that the granting of amnesty was not based on said video as it may have been a photo op only and the documents may not have been submitted at all.
He also said that the senator’s detention facility has been prepared at the AFP Custodial Center inside Camp Aguinaldo and assured that he will not be accorded any special treatment. — Lea Ylagan