MANILA - A former solicitor general, the dean of the University of the Philippines College of Law, and a partner of an established law firm are some of the lawyers tapped to argue against the nullification of an amnesty granted to Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, the lawmaker’s office said Thursday.
Trillanes’ amnesty was voided by President Rodrigo Duterte last week after the former mutineer allegedly failed to submit a formal amnesty application form that stated a clear admission of guilt.
“Among the lawyers who will represent Trillanes are former University of the Philippines College of Law Dean Pacifico Agabin, former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay, law professor Joselito Chan, and Trillanes’ chief legal counsel Reynaldo Robles,” Trillanes said in a statement.
All members of Trillanes’ legal team “volunteered” to defend the senator who branded Duterte’s amnesty void order as an attempt to silence administration critics.
“I have talked to some of the best legal minds in the country who are willing to stand for the rule of law,” Trillanes said.
“They believe that if this illegal act would not be corrected, our country’s democracy would be in peril,” he said.
Trillanes earlier asked the Supreme Court to declare Duterte’s Proclamation 572 as unconstitutional.
The high court, however, opted to allow the Makati regional trial courts handling the cases against Trillanes to exercise "their concurrent jurisdiction to head and resolve the pleadings/motions filed by the parties as regards the legality of Proclamation No. 572."
The Makati RTC has refused to issue an arrest warrant against the senator before it hears the case Thursday (September 13).
“I put my trust in our courts that they will correct this executive overreach and adhere to the rule of law despite Duterte’s twisting of laws just to achieve his aim of silencing his critics,” Trillanes said.