Lorenzana denies handing over Trillanes amnesty form to Calida
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Wednesday denied that his department’s record-keeping was flawed following the sudden disappearance of the amnesty records of more than 200 mutineers, including Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV.
Lorenzana explained that the Department of National Defense (DND) kept documents for many years until such time when keeping them was no longer necessary.
“I don’t think that [our records-keeping is] flawed, because we do not [even] throw away our records immediately,” he told reporters at Villamor Air Base in Pasay City.
“These days, we do not throw away records anymore. We scan them into digital form and then throw away the hard copy,” he added.
Lorenzana also strongly denied accusations that he handed the amnesty application forms to Solicitor General Jose Calida, who had earlier requested them.
“We didn’t find them in the DND, so we do not know where they are,” he said.
Proclamation No. 75
The DND’s legal affairs chief and head of records on Oct. 5, told a Makati Regional Trial Court that all the records, minutes and other documents related to the amnesty given to Trillanes and 276 other mutineers under President Benigno Aquino III’s Proclamation No. 75 were missing from the DND archives.
They said the records could not be found in their respective offices.
On Sept. 21, the DND Legal Affairs Office submitted a letter to the Department of Justice stating that there were no available documents, transcript of stenographic notes and minutes of deliberation related to the amnesty proclamation.
Lt. Col. Thea Joan Andrade also told the court that Trillanes’ amnesty application form could not be found in the Office of the Deputy Staff for Personnel, or J1, the Armed Forces’ repository of documents.
Andrade’s certification became one of the bases of President Rodrigo Duterte’s Proclamation No. 572, voiding Trillanes’ amnesty and ordering his arrest.
Lorenzana also said he could not confirm that Trillanes and the other mutineers applied for amnesty.
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