Proclamation 572 voiding Trillanes amnesty ‘legal’: Makati court

MANILAA Makati court upheld the validity of President Rodrigo Duterte's proclamation against the grant of amnesty to Senator Antonio Trillanes IV.

In a 33-page order, Makati City Regional Trial Court Branch 148 Judge Andres B. Soriano found "no basis to believe that Proclamation 572 has breached any constitutional guaranty or that it has encroached on the constitutional power of either the judicial and executive branch".

Soriano said that in voiding the grant of amnesty to Trillanes, Proclamation 572 "merely sought to correct what the executive branch perceives to be an erroneous grant of amnesty to Trillanes,who allegedly did not apply for amnesty and who failed to admit guilt and/or participation and involvement in, among others, the Oakwood Mutiny, and/or otherwise failed to recant previous statements contrary to such admissions,"

However, the court turned down the government's plea for an arrest warrant and a hold departure order against the lawmaker citing that the judgment clearing the lawmaker had long been final and executory.

"The dismissal (of the case) has become final and executory," Soriano said, citing the legal doctrine of "immutability of a final and executory judgment," adding that the court had lost jurisdiction over the case after it had lapsed into becoming final.

Proclamation 572, signed by Duterte on Aug. 31, declared Trillanes' amnesty was declared void ab initio (from the beginning).

Based on the proclamation, Trillanes has no pending application for amnesty granted to all active and former personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and supporters who joined the July 2003 Oakwood Mutiny, the February 2006 Marines stand-off and the November 2007 Manila Peninsula incident.

The proclamation also tasked the AFP and the PNP "to employ all lawful means to apprehend former (Lieutenant Senior Grade) Antonio Trillanes so that he can be recommitted to the detention facility where he had been incarcerated for him to stand trial for the crimes he is charged with," citing the power of the President under Article VII, Sec. 19 of the Constitution to grant amnesty.

Former President Benigno Aquino III granted amnesty to Trillanes and other soldiers who were involved in the above-mentioned uprisings through Proclamation 75 issued in November 2010.

Sought for a comment, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said it respects the court's ruling.

"The PNP as a law enforcement agency will always respect and uphold whatever is the decision of any judicial authority," PNP spokesperson Chief Supt. Benigno Durana Jr., said in a statement. (with report from Christopher Lloyd Caliwan/PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency