MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte has withdrawn amnesty for one of his most vocal critics, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, for his alleged failure to formally apply for one and for his supposed failure to admit guilt.
Following the withdrawal of Trillanes' amnesty, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said all of Trillanes previous cases shall proceed.
This, however, was rejected by the senator who argued that the cases against him were already dismissed when he was granted amnesty by former President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III.
Trillanes' argument is backed by several documents from the court and the Department of National Defense.
Trillanes was facing trial for non-bailable coup d'état charges at a Makati court and a separate trial before the military tribunal for leading the mutiny at a luxury hotel in Makati City in 2003, when he was a Navy officer.
Court documents showed that the rebellion and coup d' etat cases against Trillanes and his fellow mutineers were dismissed in 2011.
A Sept. 7, 2011 order issued by Judge Elmo Alameda of the Makati City Regional Trial Court Branch 150 showed the dismissal of the rebellion case against Trillanes and his fellow mutineers.
The decision noted that "the crime of rebellion had already been extinguished" following the amnesty grant.
A separate court order from the Makati City Regional Trial Court Branch 148 meanwhile dismissed the coup d'etat case of Trillanes and his fellow mutineers over the 2003 Oakwood Mutiny.
The order was signed on Sept. 21, 2011 by Acting Presiding Judge Ma. Rita Bascos Sarabia. It stated that the case has been dismissed given the amnesty grant.
On Trillanes' alleged failure to formally apply for amnesty, a resolution of the ad hoc amnesty committee of the Department of National Defense (DND) states that the senator was among those who filed an application for amnesty.
In the said resolution, Trillanes applied for amnesty for his participation in the 2003 Oakwood Mutiny and for occupying the Manila Peninsula Hotel in 2007 to protest alleged corruption under then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
The DND on Tuesday said it is still looking for the records of Trillanes' application for amnesty.
On Tuesday, Trillanes presented a video in the Senate to prove he formally applied for amnesty.
Justice Chief Menardo Guevarra said Trillanes can prove his claims in court as his department had already sought an arrest warrant and hold departure order against the lawmaker.