Trillanes on revocation of amnesty: “Malaking kalokohan!”

Marje Pelayo   •   September 4, 2018   •   6787


Senator Antonio Trillanes IV

PASAY CITY, Philippines – Senator Antonio Trillanes IV is likely to go back to jail soon.

This was after President Rodrigo Duterte revoked the amnesty given to him in connection to coup attempts.

Proclamation Order No. 572, signed by the President on August 31 and was published on Tuesday (September 4), stated that the amnesty given to Trillanes was void from the start because he failed to apply for amnesty and he never admitted guilt for the coup plots.

“The grant of amnesty to former LTSG (Lt. Senior Grade) Antonio Trillanes IV under Proclamation 75 is declared void ab initio because he did not comply with the minimum requirements to qualify under the Amnesty Program,” the order read.

The proclamation takes effect immediately.

In reaction to the issue, Trillanes argued that he wouldn’t have been granted amnesty if he didn’t apply for it. Therefore, he said, there is no point for re-arrest.

“Ito ay isang malaking kalokohan. Hindi naman ako bibigyan ng amnesty kung hindi ako nag-apply ng requirements. Sumumpa ako kay Dating Secretary of Defense Voltaire Gazmin at mapatotohanan iyan ng mga DND officials. So absolutely complied lahat iyan. Iyong mga kaso sa civilian courts na-dismiss iyan. Ano ngayon ang magiging basis ng pagaresto?” the senator said in an ambush interview on Tuesday.

Trillanes was involved in three mutiny attempts against the administration of then president and now House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo – the Oakwood mutiny (2003), the Marines stand-off (2006), and the Manila Peninsula siege (2007). Trillanes, a former Navy officer, and other Magdalo soldiers were given amnesty by President Benigno Aquino III in 2010.

Meanwhile, Magdalo Representative Gary Alejano said the order of arrest against Senator Trillanes is a retaliation of the Duterte administration seeing that Trillanes is among its staunchest critics.

Alejano believes he is likely to suffer the same fate as Trillanes being among those who received the amnesty.

“Kapag iyon ay na-extinguish na in the past administration, hindi dapat ibinabalik dahil kung iyan ang ating basehan, ang amnesty na inibigay natin noong 1060s, 1970s, at 1980s ay kayang i-revoke ng president ngayon. So I don’t think na nararapat gawin iyon,” Alejano said.

With the revocation of the amnesty, Malacañang has ordered the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to immediately arrest Senator Trillanes and pursue all criminal and administrative cases against him in relation to the stand offs. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rosalie Coz and Nel Maribojoc.)

Lawmakers deny links to DPWH corruption

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 29, 2020

The eight current and former lawmakers named by President Rodrigo Duterte to have been involved in the corruption in the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) have denied the said allegation.

Occidental Mindoro Representative Josephine Sato, in a statement, said her inclusion in the list is to out malign her credibility especially with the upcoming elections.

“The report made by Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) Commissioner Greco Belgica which impinges on my credentials as a public servant is clearly calculated to sow intrigues and disruption in the local politics of Occidental Mindoro,” she said.

Sato said Belgica is a known ally of her possible opponent in the 2022 elections.

Former Ifugao Representative Teddy Baguilat Jr. said he is currently not facing any investigations involving corruption.

Baguilat reiterated that he will not go through the lengths of promoting Cordillera products had he been accepting kickbacks from the DPWH projects.

Misamis Occidental Representative Henry Oaminal also released a statement welcoming the investigations to be conducted on the issue to prove his innocence.

Bataan Representative Geraldine Roman also expressed her willingness to cooperate in any investigation to clear her name.

“I am open to any investigation to establish the truth on this matter and I am sure that my honor will be vindicated. My conscience is clear,” she said in a statement.

Quezon City 5th District Representative Alfred Vargas, meanwhile, has insisted that his 12 years in public service has been unblemished.

“I am ready to submit myself to an investigation by the proper authority. Mere allegations are not proof,” he said.

Quezon Province Representative Angelina Helen Tan, meanwhile, challenge the PACC to visit the project in Gumaca and not base their allegations on anonymous tips and reports.

Northern Samar Representative Paul Daza said there might be former DPWH contractors who might have put his name on the list especially after his office exposed alleged anomalies in the department’s projects.

“Records and history will show that it was my office who exposed former elected officials and contractors for abandoning projects. Because of my call for an investigation, I believe no less than six (6) of them have already been blacklisted by the DPWH recently,” he said.

ACT-CIS Partylist Representative Eric Yap reiterated he was not involved in any DPWH bidding in Benguet. He is also willing to resign if proven guilty of the allegations against him.

Once the session resumes at the House of Representatives, Yap said he will file a motion to investigate Belgica regarding alleged anomalies in the Duty-Free Philippines. -AAC (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

Duterte proposes new task force on new COVID-19 variant

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 28, 2020

President Rodrigo Duterte has proposed the creation of a task force that would focus on the new variant of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

After the emergence of the new strain in the United Kingdom (UK) and several other countries, President Rodrigo Duterte called for an emergency meeting on Saturday (December 26).

“I would suggest that we create a panel whose job would be only to observe the different progression and the identification of the new strain,” he said.

Duterte reiterated the need to prepare through stricter border control, surveillance, and enhanced monitoring of cases in other countries. The national government already extended the (UK) travel ban until January 14.

The COVID-19 variant was also detected in Japan, Canada, Singapore, and Australia. AAC

Duterte to veto items in the proposed 2021 national budget

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 25, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to veto several items in the proposed 2021 national budget, the Palace confirmed on Friday (December 25).

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. said the ceremonial signing for the P4.5 trillion national budget is scheduled for Monday (December 28). The Palace official, however, did not disclose which items in the national budget will be vetoed by the President.

“Sigurado po na magkakaroon po ng veto message. Pero I am not at liberty to discuss po kung ano itong mga items na ito (I am sure there will be a veto message, but I am not at liberty to discuss what theses items are),” he said.

The education sector will receive the bulk of the budget with P708.2 billion, followed by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) with P694.8 billion. Meanwhile the country’s health sector will receive P287.5 billion. AAC


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