Roque backs ‘learned judge’ over AFP chief on lost Trillanes amnesty papers
Malacañang insisted Tuesday that Senator Antonio Trillanes IV did not apply for his amnesty, contradicting Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Carlito Galvez Jr., who claimed the mutineer-turned-legislator applied for it.
Galvez said Col. Josefa Berbigal, former head of the amnesty committee secretariat, administered Trillanes’ oath but that there were lapses in the turnover of the senator’s amnesty papers.
“Where is the form?” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque asked during a Palace briefing. “His own received copy of the application is important. Because if the copy on file cannot be found, then the best evidence to prove that in fact it was filed would have been his (Trillanes) duly received copy.”
On August 31, Duterte signed Proclamation No. 572, revoking the presidential amnesty of Trillanes. The order cited Trillanes’ alleged failure to apply for amnesty and admit his guilt over two failed uprisings as grounds for voiding ab initio the senator’s amnesty.
Trillanes has since been showing to the public videos and evidence that he indeed applied for amnesty.
Subsequently, Judge Elmo Alameda of the Makati Regional Trial Court ordered the arrest of Trillanes in connection with Mr. Duterte’s decree but the senator was able to post bail for his temporary freedom.
“I’m talking as a lawyer, best evidence rule. And besides, that’s in the courts and one court has said that the pictures and everything else that Senator Trillanes adduced are not enough and of course, I concur as a lawyer,” he said.
“Certainly, you don’t expect me to take the side of (AFP) Chief Galvez, who is not a lawyer, over the words of a learned judge,” he added. /kga
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