Panelo: Trillanes engaged in publicity stunts
Presidential Legal Counsel chief Atty. Salvador Panelo. INQUIRER PHOTO/LYN RILLON
The chief presidential legal counsel, Salvador Panelo, has dismissed as “mere publicity stunts” Senator Antonio Trillanes IV’s continued stay in the Senate and claims of military surveillance.
Panelo said Trillanes was “acting like an anxious puppy pretending to be a political target” as he challenged the former mutineer to “simply take legal action” to settle the issue.
“His supposed arbitrary arrest, and now threat to his life, are but figments of his imagination … These are all publicity stunts of Trillanes not only to besmirch the reputation of the President, but also to milk publicity for himself,” Panelo said.
“If he truly believes that there is no basis for his arrest and that he is practically doing service to the Filipino people by continuously criticizing the President, he should simply take legal action on the matter and stop acting like an anxious puppy pretending to be a political target by the President all the time,” he added.
President Duterte’s lawyer made the remarks a few days after Trillanes released surveillance footage of a car purportedly casing his house.
The senator had yet to reply to the Inquirer’s request for comment.
Last week, Trillanes claimed that a car was seen conducting surveillance outside his house, and that the driver sped off when accosted by people there.
On Tuesday, the senator shared surveillance footage that showed a silver car passing by his house on September 11.
This is apart from motorcycle-riding men who were seen tailing the senator’s car as it left the Senate to load up on gas, he said.
Trillanes said he was unfazed by the attempts of his enemies to place him under surveillance, adding that his people were trying to determine the owners of the vehicles through their plate numbers.
The senator has been holed up in the Senate for more than two weeks now after Mr. Duterte voided the amnesty granted him by former President Benigno Aquino III and ordered his arrest.
No arrest warrants
Two Makati City courts have separately put off issuing arrest warrants against Trillanes and instead ordered the senator and the government to first file their comments on Mr. Duterte’s amnesty cancellation.
Earlier, Malacañang dismissed Trillanes’ claims of surveillance, with presidential spokesperson Harry Roque even insinuating that the senator might be suffering from paranoia.
Panelo pointed out that the President himself had said he would leave it to the courts to issue a warrant for the senator’s arrest.
He added that there was “no concrete report or incident that there is an attempt against [Trillanes’] life due to his continued opposition to this administration.”