DOJ chief to Trillanes' amnesty revocation: "It was void from the beginning. It’s as if it never existed and never been valid" - The Daily Sentry

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

DOJ chief to Trillanes' amnesty revocation: "It was void from the beginning. It’s as if it never existed and never been valid"

DOJ Secretary Menardo Guevarra | Opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes IV | Photo from News5

President Rodrigo Duterte has invalidated the grant of amnesty to opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes IV for failure to comply with its basic requirements, Malacañang said Tuesday.

Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo Guevarra said the amnesty given to Trillanes was void from the beginning as the senator failed to comply with the basic requirements of filing an application for amnesty and admitting his guilt to the crime committed.

"It’s as if it (the amnesty) never existed, never been valid. It’s a declaration that it was void from the moment it has been issued,” Guevarra said during a press conference.

Duterte has issued the Proclamation No. 572, which states the revocation of amnesty extended to Trillanes in connection with his involvement in unsuccessful attempts to overthrow the Arroyo administration.

According to the proclamation, Trillanes, who was a former Navy officer has never expressed his guilt for the crimes committed in line with the Oakwood Mutiny in 2003 and Manila Peninsula Siege in 2007, and Marines stand off in 2006 incidents, the proclamation said.

While the DOJ and the Armed Forces' court martial were already instructed to pursue all criminal and administrative cases" against Sen. Trillanes over military uprisings in 2003 and 2007, this is according to the copy of Pres. Duterte's proclamation, which was also confirmed by Justice Secretary Guevarra.

The military and the police were also ordered to employ all lawful means to apprehend Trillanes so that he could be detained.

"I guess all of these would have to proceed and if taking him into custody is an automatic effect of that, then so be it," Guevarra told reporters.

“No. 2, you have to admit what you have done and to be sorry for it. In other words, you have make to confession and admit that you are wrong, something to that effect. Everything is in there in the proclamation,” the DOJ chief said in a separate interview.

Trillanes will stay in the Senate while his camp is exhausting all legal efforts.

Opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes | Photo from bongmendoza

Senators agreed to put him under the custody of Senate President Vicente "Tito" Sotto who vowed not to allow arrest within the Senate premises.

Trillanes in response, said contrary to what the Proclamation 572, denied allegations that he did not even file for amnesty.

He said that he applied for the amnesty back year 2010 and complied with all the requirements otherwise he would not have received the immunity and the amnesty granted.

"Ito ay isang malaking kalokohan. Alam niyo po hindi naman ako bibigyan ng amnesty kung hindi ako nagcomply sa mga requirements," he said

"Walang basis at all. Hindi mo pwedeng bawiin ang amnesty," he added.

Senator Antonio Trillanes IV talks to media inside the Manila Peninsula Hotel | Photo by Dennis M. Sabangan/EPA
The senator branded Duterte's move to revoke his amnesty as a political persecution.

Justice Chief Guevarra also said Trillanes cannot appeal or file a motion of reconsideration to reverse Duterte's order.

"No, because this is not a court matter. This is something that pertains to the President's power of executive clemency. As far as formal pleadings like motion for reconsideration are in court, that does not apply," he said. "Because this is not a judicial matter, this is an executive matter because it pertains to executive clemency."

Former President Benigno Aquino, granted the amnesty to Trillanes and several other military rebels in 2011, leading to his release from detention.


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Source: CNN PH