Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Senator Arroyo wants Trillanes, Beltran set free

Senator Arroyo wants Trillanes, Beltran set free

By Gil C. Cabacungan Jr.
Last updated 01:44am (Mla time) 04/24/2007

MANILA, Philippines -- Malacañang should also let Genuine Opposition senatorial bet Antonio Trillanes and Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran to post bail and campaign, after the Makati Regional Trial Court allowed independent senatorial candidate Gregorio Honasan to walk out of his cell.

The call was made by TEAM Unity senatorial bet Joker Arroyo who was incensed at what he called the preferential treatment granted to Honasan whom the administration was reportedly courting.

Honasan had denied that he had struck a deal with the government and said the grant of his bail was a legal process, which his family and lawyers fought for.

But Arroyo had a different view. “The government should already release Beltran and Trillanes on bail because it is so wrong, unfair, unequal when three candidates have been in prison and one of them is set free,'' said Arroyo in a press conference in the Senate.

“Whenever there is an unequal application of law, I always react with anger. You will wonder why I am part of TEAM Unity and yet I am saying this because I see the unfairness of it all,” said Arroyo who still recalled Honasan's failed coup attempts during the Aquino administration where he served as executive secretary.

“Trillanes is on the other side and is my opponent but I would like him to campaign because Honasan has been set free,'' Arroyo added.

Arroyo said that what he was questioning was not the law but government's policy.

“Everyone who runs must be given the chance to campaign. If Honasan was not allowed to post bail, there should have been no issue, but once they released Honasan, then there is an issue,'' said Arroyo.

Arroyo claimed that the crimes that Beltran and Trillanes were charged with were the same as Honasan’s -- attempt and conspiracy to overthrow the government.

Since Beltran and Trillanes were charged with capital offenses that were non-bailable, Arroyo suggested that the government lower its charges against the two to allow them to file bail. “The prosecutors can do that anytime,'' Arroyo said.


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