Senator Trillanes arrested, granted bail and back in his office bolthole

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Senator Trillanes being photographed by police today.

Opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes has posted bail after his arrest on revived charges of rebellion that were dropped in a 2011 amnesty.

Mugshots of President Duterte’s most outspoken political foe taken at Makati police headquarters were released to the media today (Tuesday, September 25).

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The arrest of Senator Trillanes is just the latest round in his feud with the president, whom he accuses of hiding ill-gotten wealth.

Trillanes has also backed several complaints to the International Criminal Court (ICC) seeking the president’s indictment for crimes against humanity and has protected people willing to testify against him.

“This is a debacle and a defeat of democracy,” Trillanes, a former navy officer and two-time mutineer, told reporters as he was led from the senate by police this afternoon. 

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“We expect other forms of harassment in the days to come.”

Bail approved by court

Trillanes voluntarily surrendered to the authorities following the order of arrest and underwent the standard police booking procedures. He then posted 200,000-peso bail before the court, which was approved.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said it was time for Trillanes to stop grandstanding.

“The court has spoken,” he said in a statement. “Let us stop the drama by press conference and allow the legal process to take its course.”

Trillanes has commanded the political spotlight in the three weeks since the president voided an amnesty given him by President Benigno Aquino, citing flaws in the procedure, including a missing application form.

He has remained holed up in his office under the Senate’s protection since the president’s order for the police and army to arrest him, although they were reluctant to do so.

The president later agreed that a court warrant was necessary, following an outcry from opponents and legal experts who called it “authoritarian and unconstitutional”.

Trillanes received clemency after his involvement in a failed 2003 coup and a mutiny four years later, both aimed at overthrowing President Arroyo, an ally of the president who is now speaker of the House of Representatives.

As we reported yesterday, fears have been expressed among administration figures, including the president, that a broad coalition of leftists and political opponents were planning a “Red October” coup.

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