Philippine court rejects Duterte bid to have critic arrested

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — A Philippine court has rejected a petition by President Rodrigo Duterte's administration to have his fiercest critic in the Senate arrested, in a legal setback for Duterte that the senator called a victory for democracy.

In Monday's ruling, Regional Trial Court Judge Andres Bartolome Soriano denied the government's petition to have opposition Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV arrested after Duterte voided his 2011 amnesty for his role in past mutinies as a former navy officer. Soriano debunked Duterte's premise that Trillanes never formally applied for amnesty and acknowledged guilt.

A beaming Trillanes said, "The rule of law won and democracy won."

Another court upheld Duterte's petition last month and ordered Trillanes arrested for a similar rebellion charge on which he was bailed out.