De Lima: Power of President to revoke grant of amnesty must be reexamined
Detained Senator Leila de Lima said the power of the President to revoke a grant of amnesty must be reexamined.
De Lima issued the statement after Makati City Regional Trial Court Branch 148 Judge Andres Soriano on Monday denied a request by the Department of Justice to issue an arrest warrant against Senator Antonio Trillanes IV for coup d’ etat in connection with the 2003 Oakwood Mutiny.
But Judge Soriano, in a 33-page ruling, affirmed the validity of President Rodrigo Duterte’s Proclamation No. 572 which revoked the amnesty given to Trillanes during the previous administration.
“While Judge Soriano’s ruling kept Sen. Trillanes a free man, the portion which upheld the power of the President to nullify a grant of amnesty and affirmed the constitutionality of Proclamation 572 needs re-examination,” De Lima said in a dispatch on Tuesday from the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame where she is being detained.
“We must continue to be vigilant to ensure that the decision of the Makati RTC is not reversed on appeal. The efforts of Duterte and the DOJ to put Sen. Trillanes behind bars do not end here,” De Lima said.
“They will continue to move heaven and earth to get what Duterte wants, even if this means doubling their efforts to pressure the judiciary all the way up to the Supreme Court,” she added.
De Lima, however welcomed the court’s order saying it was an act of independence from the “pressure exerted by Malacañang.”
“Nowadays, it is difficult for the judiciary to defy the wishes of the government, especially if pressure is coming directly from Duterte’s personal interest to have Trillanes arrested and silenced,” De Lima said.
“This act of independence from pressure exerted by Malacañang is thus a breath of fresh air coming from the judiciary,” she added. /muf
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