Trillanes’ lawyer says amnesty revocation will weaken presidency
The legal counsel of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV warned that the revocation of the amnesty granted to the senator will set a dangerous precedent and weaken the power of the president to grant such measures.
Lawyer Reynaldo Robles said in an interview after they filed a petition before the Supreme Court on Thursday that amnesties are also essential to the government’s peacekeeping efforts.
“Policy iyan ng mag ga-grant ng amnesty para sa katahimikan ng bayan. Every now and then nagkakaroon ng rebellion, every now and then nagkakaroon ng uprising (It’s a policy of the government to grant amnesty to keep the peace. Every now and then, there is rebellion or uprising),” Robles said.
“Para ma-settle iyong peace, ino-offer iyan, hindi pwedeng bawiin iyan. Otherwise, wala nang maniniwala sa power ng amnesty ng presidente (To settle peace agreements, it is offered and it cannot be revoked. Otherwise, no one will trust in the power of the amnesty given by the president),” he added.
He also said that President Rodrigo Duterte has no authority to single-handedly revoke an amnesty, which was granted with the nod of Congress.
“The president can issue amnesty with the concurrence of the majority of the Congress. This one, he (Duterte) is revoking on his own, so bawal ‘yon (It’s not allowed),” Robles claimed.
“There is a reason kung bakit may (why) concurrence iyong Congress, para (so) this power is not arbitrarily lodged into one person,” he explained.
According to Robles, the issue on the separation of powers between the executive and the legislative branches of government is just one of the grounds they used in seeking a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the revocation of Trillanes’ amnesty.
“Marami (There were many violations)— violation of the right to due process, violation of the right to equal protection, violation of the right against double jeopardy,” he noted.
“Unang-una, nakalagay nga sa jurisprudence natin na ‘pag may amnesty, lahat ng krimen nabubura (First, in our jurisprudence, if an amnesty is granted, the crime…) it’s extinguished and obliterated. So wala ka nang pwedeng buhayin (You cannot revive any case),” he added.
Malacañang released Proclamation No. 572 on Tuesday, which nullifies the amnesty granted to Trillanes by former President Benigno S. Aquino III. The senator, an ex-Navy Lieutenant, was arrested and jailed for his involvement in the 2003 Oakwood mutiny and 2007 Manila Peninsula siege.
According to the proclamation, the amnesty is revoked because Trillanes did not comply with the minimum requirements — filing of application for amnesty and the admission of guilt. /ee
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