Duterte has sole power to void Trillanes’ amnesty – Panelo
President Rodrigo Duterte has the power to void the amnesty granted to Senator Antonio Trillanes IV even without the concurrence of Congress, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo asserted Tuesday.
Panelo insisted that Duterte’s move to void Trillanes’ amnesty is his way of protecting the country from a “political offender.”
“Aside from the grounds mentioned in Proclamation No. 572, the amnesty can be declared null even without the concurrence of a majority of all the Members of the Congress,” Panelo said in a statement sent to the media.
“Senator Trillanes has abused a grant of amnesty, albeit void, and it compels its nullification by the President – the official authority who is considered by the 1987 Constitution as the grantor of executive clemencies,” he added.
Panelo also said the State could not be shackled by an act of clemency it has given to “a political offender when the latter pursues subsequent acts inimical to its interest and violative of its charter.”
“The State, acting through the President, has the inherent right to protect itself from assault coming from whatever source,” he said.
“As Chief Executive and Head of Government, he has the power to issue orders protective of the State and its people. This is in line with the prime duty of the government to serve and protect the people under Article II, Section 4 of the 1987 Constitution,” he added.
Duterte issued Proclamation No. 572 on August 31, 2018, revoking the amnesty granted to Trillanes in 2010, citing two reasons: that Trillanes failed to apply for amnesty and to admit guilt for his role in the 2003 Oakwood mutiny and 2007 Manila Peninsula Hotel siege. /kga
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