Press Release
September 25, 2018

*Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros on the issuance of a warrant of arrest against Senator Trillanes

I condemn in the strongest possible terms the issuance of a warrant of arrest against Senator Antonio Trillanes. It is a black eye for democracy and rule of law as our courts caved in to the whims of President Rodrigo Duterte.

The issuance of the warrant is part of the government's attempt to intimidate political critics and a looming crackdown on the opposition. It reeks of panic and desperation over the growing opposition to the President's authoritarian rule. Beyond the President's intolerance of opposition politics, it exposes the depths of his paranoia and fear of dissent.

It also effectively shows President Duterte's incompetence and lack of strong leadership. President Duterte would like to project himself as a tough guy. But instead of being tough on inflation and the rice crisis, instead of mustering the needed political will to address the country's economic slowdown, he wastes his time and energy, as well as precious government resources, on trying to obliterate the democratic opposition. He intimidates and terrorizes people, particularly his critics, to compensate for his incapacity to govern.

I call on all freedom-loving citizens and democratic forces to join hands as we condemn this latest attack on our democracy. As we defend democracy, we need to further amplify the voice of dissent and reason. Dissent deepens democracy. Dissent, under President Duterte's despotic rule, is the highest form of patriotism.

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