Sotto chides Trillanes over call for supporters to troop to Senate

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 7) — Senate President Tito Sotto on Friday chided Senator Antonio Trillanes IV and minority senators for calling on supporters to troop to the Senate.

"Don't test my patience and leniency on the matter because I will not allow the Senate to be used for any unruly plot," Sotto said in a text message.

Sotto asked Trillanes not to abuse the liberty and hospitality accorded to him to camp out at his office in the Senate, amid fears he would be arrested after President Rodrigo Duterte voided his amnesty.

Trillanes is holing up in the Senate over the weekend to avoid any possible arrest, even as Malacañang on Friday said the President has decided to wait for the court to issue an arrest warrant against him.

Trillanes earlier said he would spend the weekend in the Senate building to talk to more supporters, consult his lawyers, and prepare for his court hearing on September 13.

"Masyadong nang mainit ang tensyon sa Senate kaya sana wag nang painitin pang lalo. Mahirap masingitan tayo ng ibang pwedeng magsamantala ng sitwasyon," Sotto said.

[Translation: "They should not increase the tension at the Senate. Let's avoid any untoward incident from people who could take advantage of the situation."]

Minority Senator Kiko Pangilinan agreed that the Senate should work toward "de-escalating tensions brought about by the controversial proclamation of amnesty revocation."

But he clarified the minority lawmakers' call for Trillanes' supporters to go to the Senate.

"With respect, our desire for people to come to the Senate and show support for Senator Trillanes was in response to reports gathered from sources both in the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) and the media that an illegal arrest was to be effected," he said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Sotto ordered Trillanes to limit the number of his visitors and consider that there is no work in the Senate during weekends.

"I expect Sen. Trillanes to act accordingly to what we agreed on. All senators have the responsibility to protect the institution above all," Sotto said.

The Senate leader is also banning any mass action, even the holding of a religious gathering within Senate premises.

CNN Philippines' David Santos contributed to this report.