Duterte bares 'lesson learned' for Trillanes after amnesty voidance

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 8) — President Rodrigo Duterte wants to teach Senator Antonio Trillanes IV a lesson in the wake of his controversial order voiding the soldier-turned-lawmaker's amnesty.

"Ngayon what is the lesson learned? Bakit tinarget ko siya? (What is the lesson learned? Why did I target him?) I only have one word… Do not do unto others, what you would not want them to do to you," Duterte said in a press briefing on Saturday shortly after arriving in Davao City from his trip to Israel and Jordan.

When asked if he, indeed, singled out Trillanes, a staunch critic of his administration, Duterte clarified, "Hindi ko siya tinarget. (I did not target him).

"May nakita si (Solicitor General Jose) Calida na mali. Then sabi ni Calida, wala man akong problema sa ibang nagkudeta, puro kaibigan ko man yan so sabi ko, bakit ko sila ipakulong?" he said.

[Translation: "Calida saw something wrong. Then he said, 'I do not have a problem with others involved in the coup d'état, they are all my friends, so I said 'Why would I have them jailed?'"]

Duterte confirmed it was Calida who initiated the review of Trillanes' amnesty, which was granted by former President Benigno Aquino III in 2011.

"Ang totoo niyan ang nagresearch si Calida. Just like kay (former Chief Justice Maria Lourdes) Sereno," Duterte said, calling Calida "bright." He added he "cannot refuse" the government's top lawyer.

Calida also filed the quo warranto petition against Sereno. This was granted by the Supreme Court on May 11. Chief Justice Teresita Leonardo de Castro, one of the eight magistrates who voted against Sereno, is now head of the Supreme Court.

READ: SolGen ready to defend presidential order to void Trillanes' amnesty  

Trillanes: This is dictatorship

Trillanes, in a press briefing at the Senate right after the President's speech, mocked Duterte's use of a Bible verse against him.

"So si-nite pa yung Bible but sa 'kin, sabi ko nga, do your worst Mr. Duterte (He even cited the Bible, but as I said, do your worst, Mr. Duterte)," he said.

He added Duterte's latest statements show his administration's looming dictatorship.

"Nakikita wala nang pretensions. My claims the past two years are being validated. Lumalabas yung tunay na pagkatao. Talagang gagawin tayong dictatorship," he said.

[Translation: "There are no more pretensions. My claims the past two years are being validated. His true color is out. He really wants us to be a dictatorship."]

Trillanes added that Calida wanted him jailed because of his Senate probe on the security firm of Calida's family and its millions-worth of contracts with various government agencies.

He said Duterte is now using the "entire force" of the government to fight him, as he stands by allegations that Duterte and his family have millions of pesos in ill-gotten wealth.

These are claims Duterte has repeatedly denied. Malacañang also disputed claims that Trillanes is the latest target of its crackdown against Duterte's critics.

Duterte on Saturday said he will let the Supreme Court decide on the validity of his Proclamation No. 572, which declares that Trillanes' amnesty was void from the beginning because of failure to comply with the requirements for amnesty. Trillanes questioned this proclamation before the high court.

Malacañang also said it will wait for the Makati court to issue an alias arrest warrant and hold departure order against Trillanes before apprehending him. Trillanes doubted this, saying he is staying at the Senate building in Pasay to avoid any possible arrest.

Trillanes, a former naval officer, was involved in the Oakwood mutiny in July 2003, the Marines stand-off in February 2006, and the Manila Peninsula incident in 2007 - which were all against then President Gloria Macaagal-Arroyo. Trillanes and fellow Magdalo soldiers were jailed but walked free as Aquino granted them amnesty in 2011.