Palace belies alleged surveillance of Trillanes' house

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 18) — Malacañang on Tuesday dismissed Senator Antonio Trillanes IV's claims that "highly suspicious" vehicles are casing his house.

"First, it's drama, now it appears to be paranoia," Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a press briefing when asked about the alleged surveillance activity around Trillanes' residence.

He also stressed that the government has nothing to do with it.

"I think it's very clear the President has left the matter to the RTC (Regional Trial Court) of Makati and so has the Supreme Court," Roque said.

The Supreme Court has left it to the discretion of the Makati RTC if it would issue an alias warrant against Trillanes after President Rodrigo Duterte voided his amnesty.

The Palace earlier said there is no more reason for Trillanes to continue to hole up in the Senate as Duterte already said there will be no military arrest for Trillanes.

Trillanes on Tuesday told Senate reporters he is unfazed by the supposed surveillance as CCTV footage show vehicles roaming around the vicinity of his house.

"We can't give them even a small victory na parang nahaharass ako… Kung sila'y nastress, edi nananalo ko I'm gaining ground," Trillanes said.

He said his camp is checking on the vehicles' plate numbers.

Last September 13, Trillanes told the media he is considering leaving the Senate that night. But he retracted his statement when his car was allegedly tailed by unidentified motorcycle-clad men. He said he was also cautioned by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) arresting units that he would be arrested and detained the moment he leaves Senate premises.

Because of the warning, Trillanes maintained he will not leave the Senate premises until the AFP issues a "categorical statement" to not arrest him. He said it would be "an open defiance" of the Supreme Court ruling if authorities arrest him without a warrant from a civilian court.

The two branches of the Makati RTC handling Trillanes' cases gave him time to comment on the petition filed by the Justice Department for a warrant and hold departure order against him.

This comes after Duterte voided the 2011 amnesty granted to Trillanes by former President Benigno Aquino III. Duterte said Trillanes failed to comply with the requirements, a claim Trillanes' has repetedly denied.

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.