MANILA - If former defense chief Voltaire Gazmin usurped the authority of President Aquino in granting amnesty to Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, why didn't President Duterte mention this in his own proclamation nullifying the amnesty?
Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano pointed this out after the President and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said the amnesty proclamation was null and void from the start even if Trillanes complied with all the requirements.
"Kung alam nila, tingin nila na basehan 'yan, they should have included that as basis," Alejano told reporters.
"President Aquino ang pumirma pero doon sa loob ng Proclamation 75, may section 2, saan tayo mag-apply inatasan ang [Department of National Defense] to receive, process and approve. He is informing the president of the status of applications," he added.
Panelo earlier said the amnesty certificate awarded to Trillanes and the other mutineers was signed by Gazmin and not by Aquino III, rendering it invalid.
Duterte, in a proclamation released last week, revoked Trillanes' amnesty, saying the former mutineer did not file an application form and failed to express guilt for his crimes.
He also ordered the military and the police to "employ all lawful means to apprehend" Trillanes. Duterte later clarified that he would let the courts decide whether or not to order Trillanes' arrest and if his proclamation was valid.