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.)