Trillanes vows to go after Calida, Guevarra, other gov't officials

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 6) — Senator Antonio Trillanes IV on Thursday vowed to go after the government officials who are helping President Rodrigo Duterte hatch his plan to have him arrested.

"Pagdating ng panahon, kapag wala na si Duterte, hahabulin ko talaga sila. Kapag they insist dito sa ginawa nilang kalokohan," he said in an ambush interview in the Senate, where he is seeking temporary refuge.

He said top officials Solicitor General Jose Calida and Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra will face his wrath for involving themselves in Duterte's move to void the amnesty granted to him by former President Benigno Aquino III. The senator said they won't be protected because Duterte will not be in power for a long time.

"Ang gagawa ng krimen ay talagang mananagot after kasi si Duterte hindi ito tatagal. Itong si Guevarra, Calida, kakaripas ito ng takbo pagkatapos ni Duterte. Hindi naman sila sasaluhin niyan dahil even si Duterte hahabulin dahil ang daming krimen nun," he said.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque confirmed that Calida, as the government's top lawyer, is "one of the legal minds" that reviewed Trillanes' amnesty records. The Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesman Edgard Arevalo also said it was Calida who inquired about the senator's records, which triggered the review. According to the government, the record that Trillanes applied for amnesty is supposedly missing, which is one of the two bases for the decision to void his amnesty.

Trillanes also questioned why Guevarra is involving himself in Duterte's order when he himself admitted he only received a copy of it the day before it came out in the media. Guevarra remained unfazed, saying Trillanes is free to express himself.

The senator also threatened to file legal action against Defense Spokesperson Arsenio Andolong, acting Prosecutor General Richard Fadullon, and Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Juan Pedro Navera.

He said he will also seek the disbarment of the lawyers for using their profession to persecute political enemies of the Duterte administration.

"The lawyers who are behind this, sila Navera, Fadullon, Guevarra, Calida, tapos Andolong ng DND, hahabulin ko talaga kayo dito. Hindi ako vindictive na tao, pero kagaya nitong nila Fadullon... They're using their power and the law and the justice system  to persecute political enemies of their masters," he said.

Trillanes also warned the military against following Duterte's orders to the point it is outside the jurisdiction of their mandate under the Constitution, "Pati sa mga AFP, sa mga magpapagamit, talagang hahabulin ko ang mga ito. Kakaririn ko kayo."

Proclamation Order No. 572 , which was signed by Duterte on August 31, said the amnesty granted to Trillanes was void from the start because he did not comply with the minimum requirements to qualify under the Amnesty Program. It said Trillanes never admitted guilt for the coup attempts and failed to formally apply for amnesty. In the same proclamation, Duterte ordered his staunch critic arrested.

During the administration of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Trillanes, a former naval officer, was involved in three mutiny attempts: Oakwood mutiny in July 2003, the Marines stand-off in February 2006, and the Manila Peninsula incident in 2007. Trillanes and the other Magdalo soldiers involved were jailed but freed under an amnesty granted in 2011 by President Benigno Aquino III.

Malacañang said the Aquino administration erred in giving Trillanes amnesty, a claim that Aquino denied in an interview with CNN Philippines Tuesday. Aquino said Trillanes filed and met the requirements for amnesty. But Roque said he had to admit to the crime of coup d'etat for the Oakwood mutiny and the Manila Peninsula incident.