Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Trillanes accuses Calida of 'stealing' his amnesty application documents

 Solicitor General Jose Calida and Senator Antonio Trillanes / composite photo from ABS CBN

Manila, Philippines – In his another press briefing after the arrest and posting of bail, embattled opposition senator Antonio Trillanes IV on Wednesday claimed that Solicitor General Jose Calida stole his amnesty application documents.

The absence of the said important documents became crucial factor in the legislator's arrest the other day.

"Nananawagan ako sa leadership ng Armed Forces (of the Philippines) and Department of National Defense..., alam nila na nag-apply ako, alam nila na mayroon akong dokumento, bakit hinayaan nilang kuhanin ito at iwala ni Mr. Calida?" Trillanes said

The alleged “missing” document was the main reason cited by judge Elmo Alameda of the Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 150 in granting the government's plea to issue the arrest warrant and hold departure order against Trillanes over his rebellion case back in 2011.

Trillanes said countered that any filled-up application form for any purpose like in getting a government ID is never duplicated, thus, he should not be expected to have a copy of it.

"Kahit na sino sa inyo ang mag apply ng kahit anong lisensya, passport o kahit magopen kayo ng bank account, hindi kayo binibigyan ng kopya ng application form," Trillanes said.

"Walang receiving copy ang application form," he said addressing the reporters

He cited that it was wrong for the court to point at him to produce the document, whereas, it should have been produced by the DND.

"Kung meron silang paghahanapan nito, ang paghahanapan nila dapat yung custodian ng dokumento which is the Department of National Defense," he said.*

Earlier, Defense secretary Delfin Lorenzana said that Calida personally asked him of Trillanes’ amnesty records but his staff received the copy of Proclamation 75, a copy of the Ad Hoc Committee on Amnesty document signed by former defense secretary Voltaire Gazmin and a certification that Trillanes’ application for amnesty cannot be found at the DND or Camp Aguinaldo.

“I tasked the JAGS (Judge Advocate General Service) to assist the SolGen staff to find what they are looking for which are the amnesty records of Trillanes et al.”he said

“What the SolGen staff got that came to Camp Aguinaldo on August 17 were the following: copy of Proclamation 75, copy of the Ad Hoc Committee on Amnesty signed by former defense secretary Voltaire Gazmin and a certification that Sen. Trillanes’ application for amnesty cannot be found at the DND and GHQ (Camp Aguinaldo),” Lorenzana said.

“That is what we are doing. We are talking to the members of the Ad Hoc Committee and to get from them what procedures were in place and where were the applications sent to. If it was filed then it must be somewhere,” he added.

Lorenzana also dismissed the allegations that government is singling out Trillanes and that other people are also being reviewed.

“Nakita ko marami yun eh, more than a hundred yata ‘yun e, tapos ilang pages ‘yung pinirmahan ni secretary (Voltaire) Gazmin (I saw it and there were many, there were more than a hundred and secretary (Voltaire) Gazmin signed a number of pages),” he added.