Drilon backs Trillanes: Amnesty revocation has no basis
Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon on Tuesday said the proclamation of President Rodrigo Duterte revoking the amnesty granted to Senator Antonio Trillanes IV has no legal basis.
Drilon made the statement after President Duterte, through Proclamation 572, ordered the revocation of the amnesty due to the alleged failure of Trillanes to apply for amnesty and refusal to admit his crimes over the Oakwood Mutiny in 2003 and the Manila Peninsula Siege in 2007.
Drilon, a former justice secretary, claimed that an application was made and completed by Trillanes, citing the dismissal of criminal cases charged against him by a Regional Trial Court.
“The court must have found the application and grant of amnesty valid; otherwise, the cases would not have been dismissed,” Drilon said.
“Second point, we must adhere to the presumption of regularity in the performance of duty by the court. Absent any clear and convincing evidence that the court did not properly perform its duties, or that the court was ill-motivated, we have to presume that the court examined closely the motion to dismiss on the ground that there was a grant of amnesty,” he added.
Drilon stressed that for “all intents and purposes, there is a factual and final finding by a court of law that the amnesty was validly granted.”
He also noted that when the amnesty was granted to Trillanes, “no crime was committed” by the senator as it “abolishes and puts into oblivion the offense itself.”
“That is the nature of amnesty. Jurisprudence provides that the grant of amnesty ‘abolishes and puts into oblivion the offense itself, it so overlooks and obliterates the offense with which he is charged that the person released by amnesty stands before the law precisely as though he had committed no offense,” he said.
The opposition senator added that with the court having validly terminated and dismissed the criminal cases arising from the same actions, the issuance of Proclamation No. 572 and the reopening of the criminal cases will violate Senator Trillanes’ right against double jeopardy. /muf
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