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Calida on Trillanes: Maybe I’ll just forgive him

Solicitor General Jose Calida is mulling "forgiving" Senator Antonio Trillanes IV after the latter refused to apologize for accusing him of stealing the lawmaker's missing amnesty documents.

"He said he won't apologize. Maybe I'll just forgive him," Calida told reporters at the Supreme Court, where he is scheduled to argue for the Philippines' withdrawal from the International Criminal Court, on Tuesday.

Calida had earlier threatened a libel suit against Trillanes if the opposition senator did not apologize for allegedly calling him a "thief." In response, Trillanes said Calida was "in no position to demand anything."

The government's chief lawyer said "we will see" when asked if he would not push through with the libel complaint. "We have to forgive those who have sinned against us," he said.

Calida was linked to the controversy surrounding the revocation of Trillanes' amnesty after President Rodrigo Duterte himself admitted that Calida had initiated the research on the circumstances of the amnesty grant to the former Navy officer.

Later, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Calida had personally called him about the staunch Duterte critic's amnesty papers. 

But on Tuesday, Calida said he did not receive documents from the Defense chief.

"He did not provide me something. I just asked permission to be given a copy of the alleged...application. I did not receive anything from him," he said in an ambush interview.

He also said his inquiry also included the amnesty papers of "others," likely referring to the other Magdalo soldiers who were also granted amnesty for offenses they may have committed in connection with the 2003 Oakwood Mutiny, the 2006 Marines Stand-off, and the 2007 Manila Peninsula Siege.

Asked what the feedback was for the "others," he said: "As testified by the witness of the DOJ [Department of Justice] prosecution, there was none."

The records chief for administrative services and the legal affairs chief of the Department of National Defense told a Makati court last week said that there were no records of amnesty application forms and of official proceedings on the applications, respectively.

The government is attempting to have Trillanes arrested for a dismissed coup d'etat case after Duterte declared his seven-year-old amnesty void from the beginning.

A court had already ordered his arrest for rebellion charges. He is now out on bail. — BM, GMA News