Duterte: 'I wouldn’t sign Trillanes proclamation without prior knowledge that his amnesty was faulty' - The Daily Sentry

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Duterte: 'I wouldn’t sign Trillanes proclamation without prior knowledge that his amnesty was faulty'

Solicitor General Jose Calida, President Rodrigo Duterte, and Senator Antonio Trillanes / file photo grabbed from ABS CBN

Manila, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte clarified that he would not have signed Proclamation no. 572 if he did not know that Senator Antonio Trillanes IV’s amnesty was faulty in the first place.

The president made the said statement in a speech upon his arrival in Davao City after his official visit to Israel and Jordan.

He also stressed that it was Solicitor General Jose Calida who looked into the information about the amnesty granted to Trillanes, just like how he dug up on former Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno’s case.

“‘Pag sinabi ng SolGen may mali (If the SolGen said that something is wrong) and this has to be corrected, I cannot refuse. He is the government lawyer,” the President said on Saturday morning in Davao City.

“I cannot insist, lalo na in view of the fact that it was already recorded as a public paper. So kung ano sinabi niya doon, ‘yun ang paniwalaan ko (So I believe whatever he said),” he added.

Duterte said that he also already knew that Trillanes’ amnesty was faulty even before the Solicitor General started digging up – as he got the information from the military.

“Ito noon pa pero alam ko (I’ve known this for quite some time). I just don’t want to rattle the boat. Magkaibigan kaming lahat, eh (We are all friends here),” he said.

“Nalaman ko ‘yun kasi malapit din naman ako sa military. Hindi lang sila (I learned of that information because I’m also close to the military like them),” the chief executive added.*

The president, meanwhile, alleged the former defense chief Voltaire Gazmin of usurpation of his authority when he signed and recommended the grant of amnesty to Trillanes.

“The power to pardon and the power to grant amnesty with the concurrence of Congress is a presidential power. It cannot be delegated to anybody else,” Duterte said.

“You know he (Gazmin) recommended that a general amnesty be given and then after his recommendation, he approved it. Siya mismo (It was him),” he added.

“So what’s the crime of Volt? Usurpation of authority. Lahat sila ‘yan may tama diyan (All of them will be affected),” he continued.

Furthermore, the president also explained why it was only Trillanes’s name on the Proclamation.

“Magsabi si Trillanes, ‘Bakit ako lang? Karami-raming pumasok diyan sa coup d’etat na ‘yan.’ Sagot ko sa kanya (Trillanes is asking why is it only him when there were many of them who participated in the coup. My answer to him) is, it’s the President’s prerogative,” he said.

“Bakit tinarget ko siya (Why did I target him)? Well, I only have one word: Do not do unto others, what you don’t want them to do unto you,” he added.

“May nakita si Calida na mali. Wala man akong problema sa ibang nag-coup d’etat kaibigan ko man ‘yan. So sabi ko, bakit ko sila ipakulong (Calida found that something was wrong. I have no problems with the others because they are my friends. So why should I send them to prison)?” he continued.