'We are not taking Trillanes as a free man,'says Enrile

August 31, 2010 11:20 am 

MANILA, Aug. 30 – Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile clarified on Monday that the Senate is not taking senator Antonio Trillanes IV as free man when the upper chamber passed a resolution asking the court to allow the detained senator to attend the Senate session and other activities.

”He is still under detention,” Enrile clarified in a radio DWIZ station interview.

”We are asking the court to the orders and restrictions and limitations that the court may issue to transfer the custody, the place of confinement of Trillanes from Camp Crame to Senate under guard if necessary,” Ernile said.

Last week, 15 senators approved a revised resolution asking anew the Makati Regional Trial Court to allow the long-detained legislator to fulfill his legislative duties.

In Resolution No. 7, the senators said that the temporary transfer of custody of Trillanes would not be tantamount to release or even impair the doctrine of separation of powers between branches of government and infringe on the court’s prerogatives.

The former Navy officer’s continued detention, however, “unduly deprives” more than 12 million Filipinos who voted for Senator Trillanes to represent them in the Senate, the resolution said.

“[T]his situation can be addressed if the Judiciary, through the Honorable Trial Court, will allow the temporary transfer of Senator Trillanes IV from the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame, Quezon City, to the Senate, particularly the Office of the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms, with the understanding that the OSSA shall ensure attendance of Senator Trillanes IV when required by the court.”

The senators who voted in favor of the resolution are Senators Edgardo Angara, Alan Peter Cayetano, Francis “Chiz” Escudero, Jinggoy Estrada, Juan Ponce Enrile, TG Guingona, Gregorio Honasan, Lito Lapid, Loren Legarda, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Serge Osmena, Francis “Kiko Pangilinan, Ralph Recto, Tito Sotto and Miguel Zubiri. Senator Joker Arroyo was the lone dissenter.

The copy of the resolution will be submitted to Judge Oscar Pimentel of Makati RTC Branch 148, who had previously denied the senator’s motion for a five-hour detention leave so he can attend the opening of the Senate session on July 26, 2010.

Pimentel declined Trillanes’ petition, citing a ruling of the Supreme Court in 2008 that upheld the former’s decision barring the senator from taking part in the Senate sessions and other legislative functions.

Trillanes has been under detention since 2003 for coup d’etat charges in connection with the Oakwood mutiny in Makati City. He is also facing rebellion charges with the Makati City RTC Branch 150 for taking part in the 2007 takeover of the Manila Peninsula Hotel.

Under the 14th Congress, Trillanes filed 347 bills and resolutions, 19 of which were enacted into law. Under the 15th Congress, he has so far filed 270 proposed legislation. (PNA) RMA/jfm

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