MANILA - A spokesperson of the previous Aquino administration on Tuesday took to social media to deny that Senator Antonio Trillanes IV failed to submit an application form for the amnesty granted to him.
Trillanes is facing arrest for leading military mutinies in 2003 and 2007 against then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. On Tuesday, in a proclamation, President Rodrigo Duterte voided the senator's amnesty for supposedly failing to submit an application form and admit guilt for his crimes.
Abigail Valte, a spokesperson of former President Aquino, shared on Twitter a photo of Trillanes' amnesty application and a video of the document's filing.
"Trillanes’ application for amnesty must have disappeared into the Room of Requirement, where unwanted or lost things go," she said, in reference to a popular Harry Potter scene.
Trillanes, for his part, said the invalidation of his amnesty was a "bogus" and "trumped up" move, adding he was considering all legal options to counter it.
"Hindi ka bibigyan ng amnesty kung wala kang application," he told reporters.
(You will not be given amnesty without an application.)
Trillanes' name is included in a list of amnesty applicants released by the Department of Defense (DND) in 2011.
DND spokesperson Arsenio Andolong told reporters on Tuesday that the original copy of the senator's amnesty application form was "missing" and the agency has "exhausted all efforts" to find it.
WHAT WENT BEFORE
ABS-CBN in 2011 covered Trillanes' application for amnesty together with Magdalo soldiers.
In his application form, Trillanes signed a portion acknowledging his involvement in uprisings that entail "a violation of the 1987 Constitution, criminal laws, and the Articles of War" and recanting his statements in the past that are contrary "to this express admission of involvement/participation and guilt."
Trillanes had clarified that this does not mean admitting that what they did against the Arroyo administration was wrong.
"Ever since hindi naman kami nagpanggap na 'yong ginawa namin ay natural na ginagawa ng sundalo. We are man enough to admit we have broken rules in the pursuit of our cause," he told reporters after submitting his application.
Trillanes said what they signed was just a general admission of guilt of some rules, and does not mean they're regretting anything.
He added that they were not admitting to the charge of coup d'etat because it has not even been proven.
"Let me be clear. We admit guilt as far as rising up against the most corrupt president this country ever had," he said. "Proudly."
Trillanes won a seat in the Senate in 2007, campaigning from detention. He was reelected in 2013. In 2016, he campaigned against then Davao City Mayor Duterte.