Aquino presses for ‘democracy ruled by laws’ amid Trillanes amnesty row
“We are supposed to be a democracy ruled by laws and not by men.”
Former President Benigno S. Aquino III said this Thursday as he continued to question President Rodrigo Duterte’s Proclamation No. 572 that voided opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes IV’s amnesty.
“Dapat ma-adhere religiously ‘yung laws,” Aquino added in a phone interview.
The former leader remained puzzled as to why the government has been insisting that Trillanes did not apply for amnesty despite several documents that would prove otherwise.
It was Aquino, who granted amnesty to the senator in 2010 for his involvement in two uprisings during the term of then President and now Speaker Gloria Mcapagal-Arroyo.
The former leader maintained they have records to show that Trillanes had applied for amnesty — such as a letter from then Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin informing Aquino that Trillanes was among those who applied and qualified for amnesty.
“Very specific ‘yung sulat ni SND (Secretary of National Defense) [Gazmin] that the ad hoc committee reports that they had filed their applications, they had fulfilled the requirements and we hereby recommend the grant of amnesty,” Aquino pointed out.
He said the recommendation of the ad hoc committee created by the Department of National Defense (DND) was also “very specific.”
“So paano pang ipipilit na no such thing?” Aquino asked.
“Meron akong dokumentong tangan, officially transmitted to me by DND, pirmado ng then SND na referring to the work of the ad hoc committee and the recommendation to grant amnesty…” he further said.
Aquino also questioned the order to arrest Trilanes, which was contained in Duterte’s proclamation.
“Iikukulong mo by virtue of what? Either may warrant of arrest or subject to conditions nang tinatawag na warrantless arrest,” he said.
A warrantless arrest, Aquino explained, could only be enforced under three instances — if a person is actually committing a crime, about to commit, or has just committed a crime.
Asked then if he agrees with Trillanes that the revocation of his amnesty was just a political persecution by the Duterte administration, Aquino said: “Ano pa nga bang conclusion ang pwedeng gawin?” /kga
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