WHAT WENT BEFORE: Senator Antonio Trillanes IV’s amnesty
On January 5, 2011, Antonio Trillanes IV was among the first group of mutinous soldiers who applied for amnesty offered by then President Benigno S. Aquino III to soldiers, policemen and civilians who participated in three attempts to bring down the Arroyo administration in 2003, 2006 and 2007.
Three weeks later, then Department of Defense spokesperson Eduardo Batac said the first group of applicants—38 military officers and 53 enlisted personnel who filed their papers between January 4 and 7, including Trillanes—were all granted amnesty, as there was no opposition to their applications.
On January 27, 2011, Trillanes and 94 other officers and men took their oath of allegiance to the Constitution before then Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, which sealed the grant of amnesty.
On October 12, 2010, Aquino announced that he had granted amnesty to soldiers who joined the July 2003 Oakwood mutiny led by Magdalo officers, the February 2006 failed coup attempt and Marine standoff, and the November 2007 siege of The Peninsula Manila hotel.
On November 24, 2010, Aquino signed Proclamation No. 75, offering amnesty to soldiers and policemen who had taken part in the three uprisings against the Arroyo administration. It amended, clarified and recalled the previous proclamation issued in October 2010.
In December, the two houses of Congress concurred with the amnesty proclamation
On December 20, 2010, Trillanes was released after the Makati Regional Trial Court (RTC) granted his petition for provisional liberty in time for Christmas.
Trillanes was one of the leaders of more than 300 junior officers who took over the Oakwood Premier (now Ascott Makati) serviced apartments at Ayala Center, Makati City, on July 27, 2003, to air grievances against the Arroyo administration and protest corruption in the military.
It was apparently a coup whose supporters from other military units lost their nerve and never showed up.
After daylong negotiations, the mutineers surrendered.
On August 1, 2003, the Department of Justice (DOJ) charged the mutineers with coup d’etat in the Makati Regional Trial Court.
In November 2007, Trillanes and former Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim walked out of the courtroom at the Makati RTC and holed up at The Peninsula Manila, calling for the overthrow of then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
On December 3, 2007, the DOJ filed rebellion charges against Trillanes in connection with the Peninsula siege.
In October 2010, Judge Oscar Pimentel of Makati RTC Branch 148 deferred ruling on the Oakwood case to give Congress time to decide whether to affirm the amnesty proclamation.
Judge Elmo Alameda of Makati RTC Branch 150 also deferred hearing the Peninsula case on the request of the defense in view of the amnesty proclamation.
In 2011, both cases against Trillanes were dismissed by the courts after he was granted amnesty. —INQUIRER RESEARCH
SOURCE: INQUIRER ARCHIVES
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