MANILA - A court martial can be convened for the case of former soldier Sen. Antonio Trillanes after his amnesty was voided by President Rodrigo Duterte, a retired military investigator said Friday.
Arguments that this would not be possible because the lawmaker has been a civilian for years come from a "point of view of ignorance," said retired Commodore Rex Robles, who investigated the Oakwood mutiny.
Robles, a commander of a naval reserve unit, said he has court martialed former officers who have retired.
"Ang ginagawa ng mga tao na 'yun na na-court martial ko, magnakaw sila or they will do something wrong then they will retire, now they’re out of reach. Ang gagawin ko, I will ask for them to be called to active duty. Now they’re in active duty, they’re under military law, I can court martial them," he told ANC's Early Edition.
(Those people would steal or do something wrong then retire, now they're out of reach. What I would do is I will ask for them to be called to active duty. Now they’re in active duty, they’re under military law, I can court martial them.)
He said he does not particularly remember if these retired officers were granted the same amnesty that was given to Trillanes, but he maintained it was "possible" that the lawmaker be charged under a court martial.
Robles, a member of Duterte-appointed panel to review the 1987 Constitution, also pointed out that the amnesty is under question.
"It’s open, hindi ganoon ka-closed ang case (It is not really closed). You argue from the tail-end of something that is still open. Walang resolusyon yan (There is no resolution to it)…You’re assuming something that exists that the President himself does not agree it exists," he said.
Duterte's proclamation 572 voided Trillanes' amnesty because the mutineer-turned-lawmaker failed to comply with its minimum requirements such as official application and admission of guilt.
Trillanes' camp has questioned this before the Supreme Court and is confident it will receive the tribunal's support.
Reynaldo Robles, the lawmaker's counsel, is also hopeful that the military would not follow an "illegal" order from Duterte to arrest Trillanes.
He maintained that because Trillanes is now a civilian, the Armed Forces of the Philippines cannot apprehend him.
SETTLED WITH AMNESTY
For lawyer Beda Fajardo, former president of the Philippine Bar Association, the crimes allegedly committed by Trillanes as a soldier in connection with the failed mutinies were covered by the amnesty which is irrevocable.
Trillanes is also no longer a soldier and "court martial only covers soldiers and men in uniform," said Fajardo.
"Na-cover na yun ng amnesty, wala na 'yun. You cannot revoke that," he said.
"Hindi pwedeng ma-revoke 'yun, it’s unconstitutional. Approved na 'yun. Amnesty is non-revocable because it was already approved by President Aquino and concurred in by Congress," he added.
(That was covered by amnesty. You cannot revoke that. You cannot revoke that, it's unconstitutional. It has been approved. Amnesty is non-revocable because it was already approved by President Aquino and concurred in by Congress.)
Fajardo said while it is true that an amnesty is "null and void from the start" if one failed to comply with its basic requirements, only the AFP is missing its records in relation to Trillanes' case.
"May dokumento si Sen. Trillanes before the TV saka may witnesses 'yan. Even President Aquino will witness for that…Negligence is with the custodian of the records," he said.
(Sen. Trillanes has documents before the TV and there were witnesses. Even Pres. Aquino will witness for that. Negligence is with the custodian of the records.)