How Trillanes family is coping with his amnesty ordeal
MANILA, Philippines – He may be a fearless and an unrelenting opposition lawmaker but Senator Antonio Trillanes IV has a soft spot for his family just like any normal father, husband, and son.
Trillanes, who has been holed up in his Senate office since Tuesday, September 4, remains in high spirits despite President Rodrigo Duterte’s bid to revoke the amnesty granted to him in 2011.
The same goes for his family, too, he said.
“The family is in high spirits as well. We’ve been through worse,” Trillanes told reporters on Saturday, September 8, in an apparent reference to his previous detention for rebellion charges, following the 2003 Oakwood Mutiny and the 2007 Manila Peninsula siege.
The senator said he is praying for continued strength for the family amid another “unfortunate” and trying time for them.
“Ayaw ko sila masubject sa ganitong experience ulit but dinadala tayo ng tadhana rito (I don't want them to subject them this kind of experience again but it seems fate is bringing us in this direction), so we’re praying for strength,” Trillanes said.
“Personally, I find it unfortunate that my family is experiencing this kind of inconvenience. As a father, I wouldn't want them to be subjected to all of this but they know their roles are critical. We have a role to play. They understood that when I took up this task of being a public servant, public official, there are risks involved and this is one of those. There are also other support groups – the Magdalos are here, their families, my family of course, the extended family, everybody's been very, very supportive,” he said in a mix of English and Filipino.
The senator is all praises for his wife Arlene, who has been constantly by his side since his new ordeal began.
The couple’s two children, now young adults, have visited their father twice this week. The senator said their children are “aware” with what’s happening.
“My wife has been doing a great job in insulating the kids from the political noise,” he said.
“[The kids] have seen me twice already. May pasok sila kasi (They have school). We’re having fun…. Nagkukulitan kami (We have a fun time when they visit me),” he said.
How are the children dealing with the situation?
“When they see me in high spirits, like my normal self, that's it – that's all the assurance they need. They can read through my reactions, my mood, my facial expressions, if there’s something bothering me. There's none,” Trillanes said in a mix of English and Filipino.
However, Trillanes’ mother, who is suffering from advance Parkinson's disease, has yet to know about his son’s ordeal. The senator said the family decided to keep her in the dark by restricting access to television.
“My mom is sick…so we’re trying to insulate her from this so hindi namin nakukwentuhan (we don't tell her about it),” he said.
Despite the challenges, Trillanes said there is still a silver lining in everything that is happening.
“Ito na ang silver lining: Nakita ng mga kababayan natin 'yung tunay na mukha ni Duterte. Siya ay isang diktador na walang intensyong bumitaw sa puwesto kundi palawakin nang palawakin ang kanyang kapangyarihan. At hindi para tulungan mga kababayan natin kundi para sa kanya,” he said.
(This is the silver lining: Our countrymen are seeing the real Duterte. He is a dictator who has no plans to leave his post Instead, he plans to expand his power further. And this is not to help the people but only for selfish gain.)
President Rodrigo Duterte issued Proclamation 572 revoking the amnesty granted to Trillanes in 2011 and ordered the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police to arrest him – a move questioned by Trillanes and legal groups, owing to the senator's civilian status.
The Department of Justice also sought an arrest warrant from two Makati Regional Trial Courts but so far, no arrest warrant has been issued against Trillanes.
But even then, the senator would not risk putting the ball in his enemy’s court.
Upon the advice of lawyers and colleagues, Trillanes said he would continue staying in the Senate because the leadership has prohibited any arrest inside the premises.
Trillanes has asked the Supreme Court to stop Dutere’s order and declare it unconstitutional. The petition was raffled off to Associate Justice Diosdado Peralta. – Rappler.com
Follow the developments here:
- Duterte says ‘bright’ Calida researched Trillanes amnesty issues
- Trillanes: Duterte wooing AFP to use as ‘tool for oppression’
- Duterte: Ex-DND chief Gazmin liable for ‘usurpation of authority’
- [WRAP | Day 1] Duterte voiding Trillanes' amnesty: Everything you need to know
- [WRAP | Day 2] Trillanes gets relief from court, DOJ seeks options
- [WRAP | Day 3] Looming Trillanes arrest jolts PH from sleep
- [WRAP | Day 4] Trillanes stays in Senate, Duterte changes tune on warrantless arrest