Misleading: Duterte ‘did not sign order’ to arrest critics

TETE A TETE. President Rodrigo Duterte talks to Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo on Tuesday, September 11. Rappler screenshot

TETE A TETE. President Rodrigo Duterte talks to Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo on Tuesday, September 11.

Rappler screenshot

Claim: In a broadcast one-on-one with Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo, President Rodrigo Duterte said that he did not sign any order to arrest a member of the government.

Answering a question on why he seems to be focusing on silencing his critics, the President said, “I have yet to sign anything ordering the arrest or silencing anybody in the government, especially the critics. The fact that they are doing it every day only goes to show that I am giving them the time of their lives to just talk and talk and talk.”

The one-on-one was held at Malacañang Palace on September 11.

Rating: Misleading

Facts: President Duterte signed Proclamation No. 572, wherein he ordered the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to apprehend Senator Antonio Trillanes and commit him to a detention facility. The proclamation was effective immediately after it was published on August 31. (READ: DOCUMENT: Proclamation No. 572 voiding Trillanes' amnesty)

At the end of the proclamation, Duterte said: “The Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police are ordered (emphasis ours) to employ all lawful means to apprehend former LTSG Antonio Trillanes so that he can be recommitted to the detention facility where he had been incarcerated for him to stand trial for the crimes he is charged with.”

Duterte would eventually backtrack from this directive, and say he is ruling out a military arrest and would instead defer to the courts. (READ: LIST: False claims of Duterte, Panelo about legal issues on Trillanes amnesty) This has, however, not been explicitly stated in any official document as Proclamation No. 572 stands and has not been rescinded.

The President's arrest order as contained in that Proclamation was based on the grounds that Trillanes’ amnesty, which he applied for in January 2011, was void ab initio, or void from the very beginning, as he allegedly failed to comply with the amnesty requirements.

Trillanes has been a vocal critic of Duterte. In 2017, Trillanes even accused the President of having hidden wealth.

Duterte-allied lawyers and the President’s family members have also filed cases and complaints against Trillanes since 2017. – Vernise L Tantuco and Lian Buan/Rappler.com

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