Palace defends Calida for inquiring about Trillanes' amnesty papers
Malacanang defended on Thursday Solicitor General Jose Calida for inquiring about the status of the amnesty of opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes IV before the defense department, saying it was part of his mandate.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, in a text message to reporters, however, was quick to say that the Palace was not behind Calida's move.
"Calida is counsel for Republic. He inquired as part of his mandate and does not require any sanction from Palace," he said.
The Department of National Defense and military agencies have been pointing to Calida as the one who inquired at the Armed Forces of the Philippines J1 about Trillanes' amnesty papers.
President Rodrigo Duterte recently issued Proclamation No. 572, voiding Trillanes' amnesty which was granted by then President Benigno Aquino III for allegedly not complying with the minimum requirements, such as his failure to personally apply for the amnesty and for not admitting his guilt.
Trillanes, a staunch critic of the President, has shown documents about his supposed compliance of all the requirements.
He said he would question before the Supreme Court the constitutionality of Duterte's proclamation, declaring his amnesty void ab initio.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra welcomed Trillanes' move, saying, "Good to know that he's going to court of law rather than blabbering outside."
Trillanes is now under the custody of the Senate, thus, the police could not arrest him.
He could not go out of the Senate premises the Palace announced on Monday that Duterte voided his amnesty as policemen outside the establishment could arrest him.
Trillanes claimed that the administration's action against him was political persecution, which Malacanang denied.
Trillanes was among the military personnel who were charged with coup d'etat for participating in the 2003 Oakwood mutiny and 2007 Manila Peninsula siege.
Some of the former mutineers have positions now in the Duerte administration, such as Danilo Lim, who is the chairman of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority and Nicanor Faeldon, deputy administrator of the Office of Civil Defense. Celerina Monte/DMS