Revocation of Trillanes’ amnesty needs Congress approval — solons
Opposition lawmakers of the House of Representatives strongly denounced on Tuesday President Rodrigo Duterte’s revocation of the amnesty granted to his staunch critic, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV. One solon even argued that the President’s order cannot be implemented without the prior approval of Congress.
“I don’t think that the revocation can be implemented without prior approval of Congress,” Caloocan 2nd District Rep. Edgar Erice said in a statement.
Duterte signed Proclamation 572 on Aug. 31 to revoke the senator’s amnesty given by former President Benigno Aquino III in 2010 through Proclamation 75.
The Constitution provides that an amnesty proclamation requires the concurrence of both Houses of Congress, and both chambers concurred with Aquino’s proclamation back then.
Akbayan Rep. Tom Villarin backed Erice, claiming that the revocation was a “legal stretch” and a clear “political vendetta” against critics.
“It’s highly preposterous and clearly a political vendetta against a very vocal critic of President Duterte. It’s a legal stretch to justify this presidential revocation of an amnesty given no less by Congress,” Villarin said.
The grounds cited by Duterte’s proclamation, like Trillanes’ failure to apply for an amnesty, were “too flimsy and won’t hold ground” because Aquino, with the concurrence of Congress, made the amnesty “full and complete,” Villarin explained.
‘Intensified political clampdown vs opposition’
Meanwhile, progressive lawmakers from the House Makabayan opposition bloc warned that the revocation signals an “intensifying political persecution against opposition and critics of the Duterte administration.”
“We view this as a desperate but treacherous attack of a regime that is under siege by public criticism and broadening social dissent due to rising inflation, worsening poverty, and human rights violations,” Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate, ACT-Teachers Reps. Antonio Tinio and France Castro, Gabriela Reps. Emmi de Jesus and Arlene Brosas, Anakpawis Rep. Ariel Casilao, and Kabataan Rep. Sarah Elago said.
Erice, on the other hand, cited a Youtube video showing Trillanes’ filing of his application for amnesty, contrary to what Proclamation 572 had claimed.
“I just (saw) a video in the Youtube showing Sen. Trillanes filing his application for amnesty, a video shoot of his application. Kung sino man ang gumawa at nagplano ng revocation order ay pinapahiya ang Pangulong Duterte. The least that the presidential adviser who studied the revocation order is to resign,” Erice said.
Trillanes led the Oakwood Mutiny in 2003 to oppose then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s administration amid corruption controversies.
In 2007, he also participated in the Manila Peninsula siege to call for Arroyo’s ouster. /vvp
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