Accept SC ruling, Palace tells Trillanes

MANILA MalacaAang on Tuesday called on Senator Antonio Trillanes IV to accept the Supreme Court (SC) decision, which denied his petition to stop the implementation of Presidential Proclamation No. 572.

It's the SC upholding the supremacy of the Constitution. President Rodrigo Duterte respected the SC and it has spoken. Senator Trillanes now has to accept the ruling, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.

The SC ruled in a full court session on Tuesday to reject Trillanes' prayer for temporary restraining order (TRO).

The SC denied the application for TRO. There is no legal impediment now to implement Proclamation 572. He had (his) day in court and he failed, Roque said.

Duterte signed on Aug. 31 the proclamation declaring void ab initio Trillanes' amnesty because he did not comply with the minimum requirements to qualify under the Amnesty Proclamation.

The proclamation mentioned Trillanes' failure to personally fill out applications for amnesty and to expressly admit his guilt for leading the Oakwood Mutiny in 2003 and the Manila Peninsula Siege in 2007.

Meanwhile, Roque contradicted the statement made by Edwin Lacierda, former president Benigno Aquino III's spokesman, that the grant of amnesty by former defense secretary Voltaire Gazmin is covered by qualified political agency.

I beg to disagree, Roque said, citing the case of Villena vs. Secretary of Interior, a 1939 case reiterated in 2009 in Angeles vs. Gaite, which says that Secretaries of department, of course, exercise certain powers under the law but the law cannot impair in any way to affect the constitutional power of control and direction of the President.

The court further rule(d) that there are certain constitutional powers and prerogative of the Chief Executive of the nation, which must be exercised by him in person and no amount of approval or ratification will validate the exercise of any of those powers by any other person, he stated.

Roque said the power to grant amnesty like the power to grant pardon must be exercised by the President in person.

Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo also opposed the statement of Lacierda, saying he must have been "absent when their professor discussed that the political agency applies only to certain powers of the President that can be delegated."

Citing the case of Constantino vs. Cusia case in 2005, Panelo said the Supreme Court has clearly said that the power to grant amnesty and pardon, to declare martial law, and suspension of privilege cannot be delegated to the President's alter ego.

The power of the President to pardon is not delegated. That's constitutionally placed in the Constitution. That cannot be delegated. You know why? Because these are the easier or of most fundamental importance, Panelo said in an interview with radio dwFM.

Panelo said Gazmin's approval is another ground to declare Trillanes' amnesty void from the very beginning. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency