Press Release
January 17, 2011

Trillanes attends 1st Senate session

After spending seven years in prison on coup d'etat charges, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV was sworn into office by Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and was finally able to attend his first Senate session today, Monday, three years late.

Trillanes, who was granted provisional liberty pending the approval of his amnesty for participating in the 2003 "Oakwood" munity and the 2007 Peninsula Hotel siege, is currently under the custody of the Senate.

He was accompanied to the podium by Senators Tito Sotto, Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla, who witnessed his reaffirmation of oath taking before Enrile. Trillanes took his oath of office when he won the election in 2007.

"Of course I'm excited," Trillanes said when asked if he was excited about his first Senate session. "I'm just going to observe the first few weeks. I will be coming in as a student, actually and I won't pretend to be an expert on these things."

It was not Trillanes' first appearance at the Senate. He attended the Kapihan sa Senado before the Senate began its holiday break last December. The neophyte lawmaker was also present during the committee hearings on the plight of Filipino nurses chaired by Sen. Pia Cayetano, and the establishment of the Philippine National Health Research System Act of 2010, which he filed, and vowed to look into the concerns.

"Even though nakakulong tayo, I believe in the past three years, we were able to do some of our functions as a Senator. We were able to file more than 300 bills, 19 of which were passed into law. I believe we could have done more but at least we were not entirely remiss of our duties as a Senator," he stressed.

Trillanes said he will make all the 283 measures he filed for this Congress his priority bills.

Trillanes was warmly greeted by his colleagues, including Sen. Joker Arroyo, shook his hands and congratulated him for finally being able to attend to his duties at the Senate. Arroyo and Trillanes had earlier engaged in a word-war for the latter's supposed overspending of funds.

Trillanes, who sat at the right side of Sen. Loren Legarda said Enrile, who had always been supportive, had given him tips on Senate procedure, including tips on how to conduct himself as a Senator.

"Since my first time here, Enrile has been giving me advice on how to conduct myself and the basic tradition and rules," Trillanes said.

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