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Makati court grants Trillanes temporary release

December 20, 2010 9:24pm

(Updated 10:21 p.m.) A Makati court has granted the temporary release of Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, a former Navy official who was involved in at least two alleged attempts to overthrow the Arroyo administration.

Trillanes' lawyer, Rey Robles, confirmed the court order in a phone interview with GMANews.TV.

Trillanes stepped out of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center past 9:30 p.m. and went straight to his in-laws' house in Cainta City in Rizal province.

Robles said Presiding Judge Oscar Pimentel of the Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 148 issued the order at about 4:30 p.m. Monday.

The order, according to Robles, placed Trillanes under constructive custody of the Senate.

“Judge Pimentel partially granted his temporary release, but a requirement is that he will be under constructive custody of the Senate," Robles said.

Constructive custody means that while a person is not under immediate physical control, his or her freedom is controlled or restrained by a designated legal authority.

According to Robles, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile has issued a letter accepting custody of Trillanes, and has sent representatives from the Office of the Sergeant-at-Arms to witness the release.

The PNP and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) have likewise allowed Trillanes to enjoy temporary freedom.

Thank you, PNoy

Trillanes, in a text message, thanked President Benigno Aquino III for Proclamation No. 75, which granted amnesty to military and police personnel involved in coup attempts during the Arroyo administration.

"I would like to express my gratitude once again to President Aquino and all those who made this amnesty possible. Likewise, I thank my family, friends and supporters who patiently stood by us through this long and difficult journey," he said.

Robles said Judge Pimentel cited the amnesty proclamation by Aquino as the main reason for granting the senator’s petition for provisional release.

“The judge also pointed out that the there was an earlier resolution from Congress concurring with the granting of the amnesty by the President," Robles said.

Earlier, the Senate and the House of Representatives approved resolutions concurring with the amnesty proclamation.

Robles also said the senator would like to spend the next day or two with his family, after which he may start holding office at the Senate and granting media interviews.

Trillanes was detained after joining more than 300 soldiers in seizing Oakwood Premiere Hotel (now Ascott) in Makati City on July 27, 2003. They were demanding the resignation of, among others, then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, whom they accused of corruption.

In the May 2007 elections, Trillanes was elected to the Senate as guest candidate for the opposition. He assumed office on June 30, 2007, becoming the first Philippine senator to be elected while in jail.

On November 29, 2007, he abandoned his own trial and triggered a standoff at the Peninsula Manila hotel in Makati City, where he again called for Arroyo's ouster.

Trillanes, in his text message, assured the public of his "unwavering commitment to selflessly serve the country and people." - KBK/DM, GMANews.TV
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