Duterte declares Trillanes' amnesty void
President Rodrigo Duterte has declared as "void ab initio" the amnesty granted to his staunch critic, opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, during the Aquino administration.
Proclamation No. 572, which Duterte signed on August 31, stated Trillanes never expressed his guilt for the crimes that he committed on the occasion of the July 2003 Oakwood Mutiny and November 2007 Peninsula Manila Hotel siege when he was still with the Philippine Navy.
It also cited Trillanes' failure to apply for amnesty.
"Despite former LTSG (Lieutenant Senior Grade) Trillanes IV's failure to apply for amnesty and refusal to admit his guilt, his name was nonetheless included among those granted amnesty pursuant to DND (Department of National Defense) Ad Hoc Committee Resolution No. 2 approved by former Secretary of National Defense Voltaire T. Gazmin," the proclamation read.
Since Trillanes failed to comply with the "minimum requirements to qualify under the Amnesty Proclamation," it said that the grant of amnesty to him was declared as "void ab initio," which means void from the beginning.
In a press conference in Israel, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte was just implementing the law for issuing the Proclamation against Trillanes' amnesty.
"There's nothing political. This is all his (Trillanes') acts," he said.
Roque said the administration of then President Benigno Aquino III, who was a political ally of Trillanes, granted the amnesty to the senator "in a silver platter" even if there was no compliance on the minimum requirements.
Trillanes has been a staunch critic of the President. He has been backing the complaint filed against Duterte before the International Criminal Court for the alleged crime against humanity due to his bloody war on drugs where thousands of individuals have already been killed.
He also accused Duterte and his family of having ill-gotten wealth.
With the proclamation, Roque said all the criminal and administrative cases including the charges of coup d' etat against him would be revived.
He said for the past two years, there has been a review on the granting of Trillanes' amnesty.
It was finally found out that the senator did not comply with the minimum requirements, he added.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, who was designated as officer-in-charge while Duterte is on official visit to Israel, said Trillanes could be arrested anytime.
"He will be placed in custody," he said.
Trillanes said he complied with all the requirements, thus, he was given amnesty.
He said he would not go into hiding and face arrest.
Aquino issued in November 2010 Proclamation No. 75 granting amnesty to Trillanes and other Magdalo soldiers who availed of the amnesty. Celerina Monte/DMS