By Genalyn Kabiling
Senator Antonio Trillanes IV should “stop the drama” and just prove he was validly given amnesty by the past administration for involvement in failed military uprisings, according to a Palace official.
Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque reminded Trillanes to go “back to reality” and show the duly received application form required to avail of the amnesty program years ago.
Such application form was important since it contains the person’s admission of guilt for crimes committed, Roque added.
“Tama na po ang drama, tama na ang dakdak. Binigyan na po kayo ng primetime coverage noong kami ay nasa Jordan. Back to reality: where is your duly received application form? Ganoon lang pong kasimple iyon [Stop the drama, stop yakking. You’ve been given primetime coverage while we were in Jordan. Back to reality: Where is your duly received application form? It’s that simple],” Roque said during a news conference in Malacañang last Monday.
He said Trillanes should have taken care of his amnesty document since it was as important as a birth certificate and a marriage contract.
“Dahil tatlong counts of coup d’etat naman iyong pinag-uusapan natin dapat naitago iyan [Because we are talking about three counts of coup d’état, that should have been kept],” he said.
As of now, Roque said the defense department has no available copy of Trillanes’ application for amnesty in the records. He noted that even the senator had no copy of his amnesty paper when he petitioned the Supreme Court to block the revocation of his amnesty.
“Walang kopya si Trillanes, walang kopya ang DND. Nagpunta siya ng Supreme Court, ang kanyang in-attach blankong application form [Trillanes has no copy, the DND has no copy. When he went to the Supreme Court, he attached a blank application form],” he added.
President Duterte recently issued Proclamation No. 572 revoking a DND committee resolution No. 2 that granted amnesty to Trillanes due to failure to meet its requirements. The amnesty was declared void ab initio after Trillanes failed to apply for amnesty and refused to admit his guilt.
Another loophole found by the President was that Trillanes’ amnesty was approved by former Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, not President Benigno Aquino III.
Roque said Duterte believes the amnesty must be personally granted by the President.
“That’s what the President maintains. It is only the President that can grant amnesty and the President cannot delegate this authority to another person,” he said.
“It is a presidential prerogative so the position of the President is that, only the President should have signed the order of amnesty,” he added.
Trillanes has denounced the amnesty recall as a political persecution by the administration, and has asked the Supreme Court to nullify Duterte’s order. The senator, a vocal critic of the President, has been staying in the Senate since the order was issued to prevent his arrest by the police and military.