The amnesty given to Senator Antonio Trillanes IV for his involvement in the mutiny against the President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will soon undergo a review by President Duterte’s top counsel.
Chief presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo said he would “go over” the case of Trillanes and check the facts to determine if the amnesty was valid or not.
Senator Antonio Trillanes III gestures during a session at the Session Hall at Senate of the Philippines in Pasay City.
“There are some legal quarters expressing the same uncertainty or doubt on that. I’ll go over the case,” Panelo said in a media interview.
If the amnesty granted by the President Aquino to the mutineer-turned-senator was invalid, Panelo cautioned that Trillanes could be locked up in jail again.
“Anything that is not the law can be a precedent. It is always in the context of the law. So kung nagbigay siya ng amnesty na mali, hindi valid iyon,” he said.
Panelo, however, made clear that the upcoming review of Trillanes’ amnesty was not a form of political persecution. “We are not in the business of persecuting people. We are in the business of prosecuting people who violate the law and as the President says it is his duty to protect and serve the people,” he added.
In October 2010, Aquino signed a proclamation granting amnesty to Trillanes and dozens of soldiers involved in the three uprisings seeking to overthrow the Arroyo administration from 2003 to 2007. The amnesty proclamation removed any criminal liability of the mutineers.
Trillanes is a widely known critic of President Duterte. Recently, he revived allegations that Duterte has stashed more than P2 billion in secret bank deposits. Duterte has denied the senator’s allegations.
The senator also claimed that Duterte should be removed from office if alleged involvement in killings are proven true.
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