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Stripped by Duterte of Amnesty, Philippine Opposition MP Fights Arrest

A Philippines lawmaker, who is President Rodrigo Duterte’s fiercest critic in Congress, plans to spend a second night holed up in the Senate after Duterte voided his amnesty and ordered his arrest.

Senator Antonio Trillanes told reporters Wednesday that he would remain in the Senate under the protection of Senate leaders while his lawyers review his options.

Duterte also ordered the Department of Justice and the military to pursue criminal and administrative complaints against Trillanes for his role in failed coups when he was a rebel military officer.

Trillanes told the police and military not to follow Duterte’s “illegal order” to arrest him without a court warrant.

Trillanes, a 47-year-old former navy officer, was detained for several years before his election to the Senate for involvement in three military uprisings from 2003 to 2007 to protest government corruption.

He was granted amnesty by former President Benigno Aquino in 2011.

Duterte’s order has sparked a legal debate in the Philippines. Some legal experts have questioned whether Duterte can invalidate a rebel amnesty declared by a previous president and approved by legislators.

The Department of Justice, meanwhile, asked a court to issue an arrest warrant for Trillanes and forbid him from leaving the country. The court did not immediately comply and instead gave Trillanes five days to respond to the government’s move and set a hearing for next week.

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