Gazmin was also blamed for suggesting and affirming Trillanes' absolution even without the best possible records. - The Daily Sentry

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Gazmin was also blamed for suggesting and affirming Trillanes' absolution even without the best possible records.

Former Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and President Rodrigo Duterte. Image combined credit to Zimbio and South China Morning post
On Saturday President Rodrigo Duterte blamed former Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin for usurpation of authority for prescribing and allowing amnesty to Senator Antonio Trillanes IV.

Gazmin, who explored Trillanes' case, was the same person who allowed the amnesty, when such power is vested in the Commander-in-Chief; this is indicated by the President.
Antonio Trillanes IV after giving his oath of allegiance in the presence of Department of National Defense Sec. Voltaire Gazmin. Image credit to Inquirer News

"In the matter of granting pardon or amnesty, it's a constitutional mandate of the president," Duterte said.

"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. Constitutional mandate 'yan (That's a constitutional mandate)," he said.

Gazmin was also blamed for suggesting and affirming Trillanes' absolution even without the best possible records.

"Si Voltz, you know, he recommended that a general amnesty be given. And then after his recommendation, he approved it. Siya mismo ang nag-grant. Siya ang nagrecommend, eh bakit ka pa magrecommend eh ikaw din pala ang pipirma 'di diretso ka na (He was the one who granted it. He recommended it, then why did you have to recommend it when you're the one to sign, you could have done it directly)," Duterte said.

"So what's the crime of Voltz? Sabihin ko sa inyo kung ano (I'll tell you what)? Usurpation of authority," he added.

"Mabigat kaya 'yan (That's a big deal). Biro mo (Imagine) you pardon criminals in this country and you just delegate it to anybody," Duterte said.

"Parang ginawa nila ang gobyerno na laruan (They turned government into a play thing)," he added.
(From left) President Aquino, Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas and Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin. Image credit to ABS-CBN News

With Gazmin allowing absolution to Trillanes, it appeared as though the previous organization was ridiculing the law.

From 2010 to 2016 Gazmin was the defense secretary, amid the administration of then President Benigno Aquino III.
President Benigno Simeon Aquino III is briefed by Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin during the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council. Image credit to
Aquino's former spokesperson Edwin Lacierda rejected Duterte's affirmations against Gazmin, speaking to ANC on Saturday.

"There is a lawful designation by the President and the proclamation authorizing the Department of National Defense and its head, actually Voltaire Gazmin, to look into it," Lacierda said.

"There is no irregularity or usurpation of any authority," he added.
Voltaire Gazmin: The untouchable. Image credit to Rappler
Trillanes denied Duterte’s accusations  that Gazmin forced his amnesty application.

"Si President Aquino ang nag-grant ng proclamation. Ngayon, lahat lahat ng na-apply ng amnesty, so President Aquino, nag-proclaim ng amnesty, nakalagay doon sino ang magpa-process, which was the DND (Department of National Defense). 'Yun ang mandato ng DND based on the amnesty proclamation," he said.

"Ganoon kasimple. 'Pag nakumpleto mo ang application, nag-comply ka, bibigyan ka ng certificate," Trillanes added.

Based on Gazmin’s Recommendations on the applications filed before the DND, a committee at the point prepared the application, said Trillanes.

"Si Secretary Gazmin recommended 'yung mga naapprove ng application, to be granted the amnesty. Nagbigay ng approval 'yung presidente," he added.
FILE PHOTO. Image credit to Daily Duterte
On August 31 Trillanes’s amnesty was voided by Duterte. Duterte also requested the reclamation of criminal and administrative charges against Trillanes. His declaration was made public on Tuesday.

Trillanes was accused of coup d’ etat before the Makati Regional Trial Court and infringement of Articles of War 96, the conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman and 97,  the conduct prejudicial to good order and military discipline before a military court.

The cases were originated from Trillanes' and the Magdalo band of junior military officers' takeover of the Oakwood luxury apartments in Makati City on 2003 and in 2007, the Manila Peninsula inn.

In the two cases, under then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo the Magdalo disputed alleged corruption.

In 2007 Trillanes won a seat in the Senate crusading from detainment, and was reelected in 2013.

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Source: ABS-CBN