After visiting Trillanes to show support, Robredo to Duterte admin: Use your power to address inflation and not to silence the opposition - The Daily Sentry

After visiting Trillanes to show support, Robredo to Duterte admin: Use your power to address inflation and not to silence the opposition

Vice President Leni Robredo and Sen. Sonny Trillanes, photo from GMA News
A united opposition: this was the statement conveyed by the Vice President Leni Robredo herself on her move to visit the beleaguered Senator Antonio 'Sonny' Trillanes IV at the Senate building, Thursday.

This, after the Malacanang Palace revoked the amnesty of the opposition Senator recently. 

It can be recalled that the latter committed coup d'├ętat attempts to overthrow the now-House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo who was the Philippine President back then.

It was on 2003 and 2007 when Trillanes had been indicted for rebellion under the administration of the same president. The first one was dubbed as the Oakwood mutiny while the other was the Manila Peninsula Siege.

The amnesty to Trillanes and his colleagues was later on given by the former President next to Arroyo, Noynoy Aquino.

Today, under the Duterte government that decided to take it back, just when Trillanes was about to get arrested by the state forces as soon as the President ordered for such, the 47-year-old senator has found a sanctuary at the halls of the Senate.

Under the custody of the Senate President Tito Sotto III, unless the senator leaves, Sen. Trillanes cannot be arrested at the Senate premises. This, according to Sen. Sotto, is for them to "preserve the dignity of the Senate".

 Since the release of the directive, September 4, he has been staying day and night at the said government building.

"I have consulted with some members of the Senate already, to preserve the dignity of the Senate, we have to not allow any senator to be arrested in the Senate premises. Outside the Senate premises, that’s no longer our concern but within the Senate premises that’s the decision of the leadership," Sen. Sotto said in a report. 
Photo from GMA News
The Vice President, on the other hand, personally went to the Senate to show support to one of the President's most unrelenting critics. 

In a report, Robredo said she came all the way from a speaking engagement held in Pasay and thought of visiting the senator to express her support. 

Despite being on different political parties, with Leni Robredo coming from the Liberal Party and Sonny Trillanes from Nacionalista Party, the Liberal Party official felt compelled to visit the senator. 

Asked whether or not this event will break or unify the opposition, she replied: "Yung oposiyon naman parati namang pinag-usapan na para sa kabutihan parating nagkaka-isa".

(The opposition always talks about being united when it comes to the common good.)

Robredo also shared that she and Trillanes were together when the news broke out.

"In fact nung lumabas 'yung balita na ni-revoke 'yung kanyang amnesty, nasa meeting kami, kasama ko si Sen. Trillanes. Nasa meeting kami kasi tinitingnan kung papa'no magkakaron ng united na senatorial slate. At nung lumabas 'yung balita, kinailangan ni Sen. Trillanes pumunta dito sa senado para alamin 'yung detalye ng revocation ng amnesty", she continued. 

(In fact when the news surfaced about the revocation of his amnesty, we were on a meeting, I was with Sen. Trillanes. We were in a meeting because we were looking on how to secure a united senatorial slate. And so when the news broke out, Sen. Trillanes had to leave immediately to go here at the Senate to further understand the details regarding the revocation of his amnesty.)
Arlene, wife of Trillanes, photo from Rappler
In addition, the Vice President said that for her, what the government is doing to the senator is a clear indication of political persecution. 

"Pero 'yung sa akin kasi, malinaw na panghaharas ito. Malinaw 'yung dahilan kung bakit ito ginagawa at mariin nating tinututulan 'yung ganitong paraan: 'yung paggamit ng kapangyarihan para patahimikin 'yung may hindi kaparehong opinyon sa pamahalaan".

(For me, it is clear that this is harassment. It is clear why this is being done and we strongly condemn this method: the use of power to silence those who have a different view with the government.)

"Dapat 'yung pamahalaan ginagamit nya 'yung kapangyarihan nya para magdala ng kabutihan. Maraming problema ngayon 'yung ating bansa, napakataas ng ating inflation rate", Robredo said.

(The administration should use its power to promote the common good. There are a lot of problems our country is facing right now, the inflation rate is at all-time high.)

"Dapat sana 'yung kapangyarihan ng gobyerno dito ginagamit, hindi 'yung sa pagsisilensyo ng oposisyon", the Vice President mentioned.

(The administration should have been using its power on things like this, and not in silencing the opposition.)

When asked for her message to the Senator staying at the Senate, she said: "Hindi man kami magkapareho ng partido, alam namin na mali 'yung ginagawa sa kanya". 

(Despite us coming from different [political] parties, we know that what is being done to him is wrong.)

Reportedly, Sen. Trillanes's wife Arlene and children were also spotted at the Senate. His wife, however, refused to be interviewed.

The Magdalo partymates of the Nacionalista Party Senator were also seen with Trillanes at the Senate building. 
Magdalo partymates of Trillanes, photo from Rappler
Watch her interview below: