MANILA - Solicitor General Jose Calida on Tuesday said he would not be filing libel cases against Senator Antonio Trillanes despite the lack of any apology from the lawmaker who has accused him of hiding and stealing his amnesty application form.
Instead, Calida said he would forgive Trillanes.
“He said he won’t apologize. Maybe I just forgive him,” Calida told reporters before the start of proceedings at the Supreme Court.
The chief government counsel is in the high court for oral arguments on the petition against the country's withdrawal from the International Criminal Court.
“We have to forgive those who have sinned against us… I am a Christian. I know how to forgive,” he added.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier said it was Calida who sought a check on Trillanes' amnesty records. This eventually led to the cancellation of the former navy officers' 2011 amnesty, which revived criminal cases against him for leading uprisings in 2003 and 2007.
Government has been asserting that Trillanes failed to properly file an application for amnesty and did not admit guilt, a condition for the grant.
Trillanes was recently ordered arrested on rebellion charges, for which he posted bail on the same day, and is fighting a separate coup d'etat case at the Makati Regional Trial Court.
Calida said the government is not singling out Trillanes but admitted that only Trillanes’ amnesty application is being reviewed “for the moment.”
“Because he’s the only one who said he’s not guilty of coup d’etat and rebellion. Have you heard the others say that?,” he asked.
Calida also clarified that Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana did not give him any documents.
“He did not provide me something. I just asked permission to be given a copy of the alleged amnesty application. He did not give me anything,” he said.
Duterte's Proclamation No. 572, which invalidated Trillanes' amnesty, was made public on the day Trillanes started the Senate investigation into government contracts of the Calida family's security agency, which he alleged constituted conflict of interest.