Philippines′ Duterte orders opposition senator be arrested | News | DW | 04.09.2018
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Philippines' Duterte orders opposition senator be arrested

The arrest of Philippine senator Antonio Trillanes has been ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte while visiting Israel. Trillanes backs an International Criminal Court probe into Duterte's crackdown on drug suspects.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque told reporters in Jerusalem Tuesday that Duterte had revoked a 2010 amnesty given to Trillanes (pictured above) in an executive order published in the Manila Times newspaper.

Trillanes, a former military serviceman turned Duterte detractor and opposition senator, said his expected arrest amounted to "political persecution" and went on to describe Duterte as a "dictator."

"He does not respect institutions. That is why we're like this: ordinary people are killed and critics are jailed," Trillanes said, adding he would not resist or flee.

Amnesty violated?

Philippine Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said Duterte had signed the revocation last week, asserting that Trillanes had failed to comply with amnesty rules set for his alleged involvement in a past failed coup and mutiny.

An arrest of Trillanes would be the second among a vocal Senate minority after Leila de Lima, a former justice secretary held for 18 months.

Read more: A grieving Filipino mother's rage

Both have targeted Duterte over his role in alleged executions by police, both while president and earlier as mayor of Davao on Mindanao island.

Last February, the International Criminal Court (ICC) based in the Netherlands began probing a complaint that accuses Duterte of perpetrating crimes against humanity.

In June, Philippine Catholic bishop Arturo Bastes called the president a "madman" and urged Filipinos to pray for an end to Duterte's "blasphemous utterances and dictatorial tendencies."

Laying a wreath to Holocaust dead at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem on Monday, Duterte stood alongside his daughter, Sara, born to his Jewish first wife — after once likening his crime-fighting policy to Hitler's mass murders.

That was in 2016 when he said he would be "happy to slaughter" drug addicts in a similar way to the Nazi leader but then apologized for drawing the comparison.

Israel's government press office said most of Duterte's four-day visit was being kept closed to the media. On Wednesday he departs for neighboring Jordan.

ipj/rc (Reuters, AP) 

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