Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV cannot be arrested based on President Rodrigo Duterte’s Proclamation 572 that revoked the amnesty granted to Trillanes in 2010, a lawyer said Tuesday.
Lawyer Gilbert Andres said in an interview with Balitanghali that arrest warrants are issued by the courts.
Proclamation 572 orders the police and the military to file criminal and administrative cases against Trillanes in connection with his involvement in the 2003 Oakwood mutiny and 2007 Manila Peninsula siege “that he can be recommitted to the detention facility where he had been incarcerated for him to stand trial for crimes he is charged with.”
“The question we need to ask is, ‘Is there a standing warrant of arrest vs. Senator Trillanes?’ If there is none, then the President cannot order his arrest. It is only our courts which can order that thru warrant of arrest,” Andres pointed out.
There is no standing warrant of arrest vs. Trillanes.
“I don’t see any [legal] basis sa gusto ng President. Reading the 572, they (government) still have to file a case [vs. Trillanes] in court, then it is the court which will issue warrant of arrest,” Andres said.
Proclamation 572 also contends that Trillanes never applied for amnesty and did not admit guilt, which are requirements for granting his amnesty.
Trillanes joined the rest of his fellow Magdalo soldiers in applying amnesty in 2011.
Back then, Trillanes said that he never said that participating in failed efforts to overthrow then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was legal.
“Ever since, hindi naman kami nagpanggap na ang ginawa namin na pagpunta sa Oakwood at Peninsula ay natural na ginagawa ng sundalo ... So it’s very easy for us to admit that,” Trillanes told reporters at Camp Aguinaldo in January 2011.
Andres also emphasized that the amnesty granted to Trillanes cannot be revoked by the President on a whim, since the 1987 Constitution provides that the President has the authority to grant amnesty and Congress needs concur to take effect.
“Kung walang application [for amnesty], there has to be judicial declaration that the amnesty granted to him is void ab initio (not legally binding),” Andres said.
“I would like to believe that we adhere to rule of law. The grant of amnesty needs concurrence of Congress. Klaro ‘yan sa Konstitusyon. Kaya ang withdrawal of amnesty should also be with the concurrence of Congress,” he said. —Llanesca Panti/VDS, GMA News