Lorenzana not consulted by Duterte on amnesty nullification
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Monday he was not consulted by President Rodrigo Duterte on the issuance of Proclamation No. 572, which revokes the amnesty granted to Senator Antonio Trillanes IV.
“No, I was not,” he told reporters when asked if he was consulted by the President before the proclamation voiding the amnesty of the rebel-turned-senator was issued.
Proclamation No. 572 signed August 31 stated that Trillanes failed to file an application for amnesty and express admission of guilt for his involvement in two failed mutinies in 2003 and 2007 to protest the alleged corruption during the presidency of Gloria Macapagal- Arroyo. Thus, the presidential directive noted, Trillanes’ amnesty must be voided ab initio.
The presidential decree cited a military certification saying that there was “no available copy” of the senator’s amnesty application from the records of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, J1, as basis for the revocation of the Trillanes’ amnesty.
Mr. Duterte said over the weekend that he issued the proclamation based on a research conducted by Solicitor General Jose Calida.
“The truth is, it was Calida who did the research on Trillanes’ case. When the SolGen says there’s something wrong, it has to be corrected. I cannot refuse,” the President said on Saturday at the Davao International Airport upon his arrival from his official visits to Israel and Jordan.
He even described Calida as “bright and matino (straight).”
Lorenzana confirmed however that Calida called him on August 16 asking for Trillanes’ amnesty records from the Department of National Defense (DND) and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
“He asked me personally by phone to get the amnesty records sa DND at AFP so I provided him (access to the office holding the records). I remember that was August 16,” he told reporters.
He explained in a separate text message that he later asked the Judge Advocate General Service (JAGS) to assist Calida.
The defense chief also said he did not ask Calida why he was asking for the senator’s amnesty records.
“I have no idea kung ano ang purpose niya….Hindi ko siya tinanong SolGen siya eh,” he said.
“Sa akin lang, if may hindi sumunod sa process it should be rectified,” he added.
Lorenzana said Calida also sought for the records of other fellow mutineers of Trillanes and said he believes that the senator was not singled out.
But the defense chief refused to comment further about the controversial proclamation: “Let the Supreme Court decide on that..Ayoko ng magsalita dyan dahil maraming conflicting statements eh.” /kga
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