De Lima claims Duterte 'twisting laws' amid Trillanes' voided amnesty

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Senator Antonio Trillanes, President Rodrigo Duterte, and detained Senator Leila de Lima.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 6) — Detained Senator Leila de Lima hit President Rodrigo Duterte for twisting the law by voiding the amnesty granted  to Senator Antonio Trillanes IV.

"This is the age of Duterte, where anything can be made to stand on its head, where the law can be twisted any which way Duterte wants,where institutions like the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines), PNP (Philippine National Police) and the DOJ (Department of Justice) will readily follow illegal orders, and where dead cases can be brought to life," she said in a statement Thursday.

The senator has been jailed in Camp Crame since February 24, 2017 due to allegations of abetting illegal drug trade in the New Bilibid Prison, an accusation which she has repeatedly denied.

But she said political persecution was expected from Duterte, despite the effects of amnesty being long-established in the legal system.

"We did not expect that it will take only one strongman to demolish the legal system and all its fundamental principles in one fell swoop," she added.

The embattled senator said the country is now under a "naked tyranny."

"No matter how the government's lawyers legitimize the tyrannical act with their bastardized version of what the law is, this unprecedented action against Sen. Trillanes will remain to be an illegal and a profoundly deceitful act," she said.

De Lima, a fierce critic of the President, alleged the latter's involvement in her detention. Duterte however, denied this.

In the same interview on February 27, 2017, Duterte had said he is not going after Trillanes, another staunch critic.

Trillanes' amnesty — which former President Benigno Aquino III granted in 2011 — was voided by President Rodrigo Duterte in a proclamation order Tuesday. The order said the amnesty granted was void from the start because he did not comply with the minimum requirements to qualify.

Malacañang rebuffed claims of politics in the President's order.