PNP: Nobody in 'right mind' would arrest Trillanes without court warrant

MANILA, Philippines – Nobody in their right mind would arrest someone without a court-issued warrant.

This was emphasized by Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Oscar Albayalde in his Camp Crame press conference on Monday, September 10.

He was asked about rumors that there were police operatives who had wanted to move forward with just President Rodrigo Duterte's Proclamation No. 572 revoking the amnesty of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV to execute an arrest.

"Nobody would probably dare to arrest Senator Trillanes without any basis. I don't think kahit sino siguro (anybody), not even a senior police officer in his rightful mind, would arrest anybody without a warrant of arrest and without probably authority from the court," Albayalde told reporters.

Why does this matter? Albayalde's comment shows that the PNP recognizes that a presidential order, like Duterte's proclamation against Trillanes, cannot be used as the sole basis to arrest anybody – at least not yet.

The validity of Duterte's proclamation is up for discussion before the Supreme Court (SC), as pointed out by police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) chief Director Roel Obusan.

Obusan admitted that they had tried to arrest Trillanes, but they recognized that Senate President Vicente Sotto III would not allow it. The PNP CIDG eventually put on hold any arrest, Obusan said, after Duterte announced that he would defer action on Trillanes to the SC.

CIDG operatives, however, remain in the Senate compound. According to Albayalde and Obusan, they ordered CIDG operatives to stay for "peace, security, and support." –

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Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers security, crime, and the city of Manila for Rappler. He was chosen as a Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.