FILE PHOTO: Solicitor General Jose Calida
Upon his return to the country on Saturday, President Rodrigo Duterte confirmed that Solicitor General Jose Calida initiated the review of the amnesty granted to Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV.
Malacañang has released last week Proclamation No. 572 which voids the amnesty granted to Sen. Trillanes in 2011 by then president Benigno Aquino III in relation to the former’s rebellion and coup cases.
The proclamation states that “the grant of amnesty to former LTSG Antonio Trillanes IV under Proclamation No. 75 is declared void ab initio because he did not comply with the minimum requirements to qualify under the Amnesty Program.”
Speaking before the media at Davao City International Airport, President Duterte said he couldn’t say no to SolGen Calida especially when there is strong evidence.
“Alam mo si Calida medyo bright na matino. ‘Pag sinabi ng SolGen may mali and this has to be corrected, I cannot refuse,” said Duterte.
“He is the government lawyer; I am not. Though I am a mayor or a mayor and a President, I cannot insist, lalo na in view of the fact it was already recorded as a public paper. So kung ano ‘yang sinabi niya doon, then ‘yun ang paniwalaan ko.”
The President also said that it is up to the Supreme Court to decide whether to void or affirm the said proclamation.
“Well, nandiyan na sa Supreme Court. I leave it at that. If the Supreme Court would say that my declaration, proclamation is null and void, then let it fall. But then… if I’m affirmed or sustained, then it’s the military now,” Duterte said.
He also maintained that he is not targeting Trillanes
and refuted speculations that the proclamation is part of an effort to silence his critics.
“Sila nga ang nagsasalita diyan, ako tahimik lang eh,” he said. “Hindi ko kasi sinasagot, alam mo bakit? Kung bigyan mo ng importansya ‘yang sila — feeling great sila,” the President said. — Janice Ingente