Trillanes seeks Supreme Court reprieve vs amnesty nullification


Posted at Sep 06 2018 11:11 AM | Updated as of Sep 06 2018 02:20 PM

MANILA - (UPDATED) The camp of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV on Thursday asked the Supreme Court to block President Rodrigo Duterte's nullification of his amnesty.

Duterte voided the amnesty that absolves Trillanes over charges for leading 2 failed mutinies, saying the soldier-turned-lawmaker failure to formally apply for it and admit his guilt. The President also directed security forces to "employ all lawful means" to apprehend Trillanes. 

Trillanes' lawyer, Rey Robles, filed before the Supreme Court a petition for temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against the amnesty withdrawal. 

Duterte's order is "grossly illegal" because he "does not have the power to issue warrants of arrest," Robles told reporters. 

The lawyer also maintained that the President cannot void the amnesty without Congress concurrence. 

"Walang kapangyarihan ang Presidente na mag-withdraw ng amnesty at imposibleng mag-withdraw ng amnesty kasi sinasabi ng batas na once granted, the offense is obliterated, wala ka nang ire-reinstate. Parang kang bumubuhay ng patay," said Robles.

(The President does not have power to withdraw amnesty and it is impossible to withdraw because under the law, once it is granted, the offense is obliterated and there is nothing to reinstate. It would be like trying to revive the dead.) ​

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Trillanes, in a press briefing earlier, showed his amnesty application form, which includes an admission of guilt, and the Department of National Defense's 2011 list of amnesty applicants including his name.

The defense department said it was looking for records of Trillanes' amnesty.

Military spokesman Col. Edgard Arevalo said it was Solicitor General Jose Calida who inquired about the amnesty records of Trillanes at the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel.

But Solicitor General Jose Calida, who was investigated by Trillanes' Senate committee for alleged conflict of interest, had kept mum on this matter. ​

The Department of Justice has filed a motion before a Makati court to issue an alias warrant of arrest and hold departure order against Trillanes. ​

As a Navy lieutenant, Trillanes and his Magdalo band of soldiers and junior officers occupied the Oakwood Hotel in 2003 to protest alleged corruption under then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

In November 2017, Trillanes and the Magdalo walked out of their coup d'etat hearing and occupied the Manila Peninsula Hotel to press Arroyo to resign.

Former President Benigno Aquino, granted amnesty to Trillanes and several other military rebels in 2011, leading to his release from detention.

Trillanes won a seat in the Senate in 2007, campaigning from detention. He was reelected in 2013. In 2016, while running for vice president, he campaigned against then Davao City Mayor Duterte.

He has since become Duterte's fiercest critic, calling on the chief executive to undergo drug tests, psychological assessments, and to bare his state of health and wealth. ​