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DOJ admits possessing old documents against Trillanes

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President Rodrigo Duterte claimed that Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV did not apply for official amnesty application form.

Thus, in his Proclamation 572, Duterte claimed that Trillanes, a grantee under former President Benigno Aquino III’s Proclamation 75, did not file an official amnesty application form and did not comply with the minimum requirements to qualify for an amnesty. That is the reason why the President revoked the amnesty granted to the senator in 2011.

“Whereas, former LTSG Antonio Trillanes IV, O-1197 PN, never expressed his guilt for the crimes that were committed on occasion of the Oakwood Mutiny and Peninsula Manila Hotel Siege, stating that ‘they were not admitting guilt to the mutiny and coup d’etat charges lodged against them both in the civil and military courts’ and ‘I would like to qualify that we did not admit to the charge of coup d’etat or anything na i-finile sa amin kasi we believe na hindi iyon ang nararapat na i-charge sa amin,”the proclamation read.

Lt. Col. Thea Joan Andrade, Chief of the Discipline, Law and Order Division of the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, issued a certification stated that there was no available copy of Trillanes’ application for amnesty in the records.However, a footage of Trillanes filing his amnesty application surfaced online.

Former President Noynoy Aquino’s spokesperson Abigail Valte posted the video on Twitter contradicting Malacañang’s claim that Trillanes did not file an amnesty application and the video is dated January 2011 a report from radio dzRH from when Trillanes submitted his amnesty application before the Ad Hoc Committee of the Department of National Defense.

In the 2011 footage, Trillanes explains that the amnesty application form is a general admission of guilt, whether in the Armed Forces of the Philippines or the Revised Penal Code.

Trillanes admitted in the video, “Ever since hindi naman po kami nagpanggap na ‘yung ginawa namin na pagpunta sa Oakwood and sa Manila Pen na natural na ginagawa ng sundalo. We are man enough to admit na we have broken rules in the pursuit of our moral cause and we faced it like men.”

In a privilege speech before the Senate, Trillanes presented a copy of his official amnesty application, as well as his certificate of amnesty.

Aquino, in Proclamation 75, granted amnesty to active and former personnel of the military, police and their supporters who have committed crimes in connection with the 2003 Oakwood Mutiny, 2006 Marines stand-off and the 2007 Manila Peninsula siege which took effect in January 2011 upon the concurrence of a majority of all members of the Congress.

Trillanes had been charged for rebellion for trying to overthrow former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in the 2003 and 2007 coup attempts.

In a televised interview with Senate reporters, Trillanes admitted that he does not have a copy of his application form.“I have the amnesty certificate, that’s what matters.”

 As to the question whether Trillanes filed official amnesty application form, the video explicitly showed that he did.

Meanwhile, Senate President Vicente Sotto III has placed Sen. Trillanes under the custody of the Senate to prevent his arrest following the nullification of his amnesty.

Trillanes said he received assurance from Sotto that “he will not allow any arrest” as long as Trillanes is within the Senate premises.

According to Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, Senate President Sotto had directed that Senate sergeant of arms not to allow arresting officers inside the premises of the upper house.

Drilon explained, “Under the Constitution, he cannot be arrested while the Congress is in session except for crimes which have penalty beyond six years. In this particular case, there is even no case with more reason that the constitutional protection will be applied as a practical remedy.”

Trillanes was the second opposition legislator to be ordered arrested under Duterte’s term.Sen. Leila De Lima has been jailed for more than a year over drug-related charges.

Meanwhile netizens called President coward and traitor, because just like what happened when the late President Ferdinand Marcos was buried in the Libingan ng mga Bayani, he was also away.

Magdalo Representative Gary Alejano has two documents— one issued by Makati RTC Branch 148, which handles the 2003 Oakwood case for coup d’etat, and another one issued by Makati RTC Branch 150, which handles the rebellion case for the Manila Peninsula siege.

Based on the Sept. 21, 2011 order issued by acting Presiding Judge Ma. Rita A. Bascos Sarabia, the case against Trillanes, Alejano, and James A. Layug has been dismissed under the amnesty given to them.

The court said in 2011 order by acting Presiding Judge Sarabia,“The dismissal of the instant case is in order in the light of the fact that any possible criminal liability on their part resulting from the incidents subject of the instant case has already been fully and completely extinguished by the grant of amnesty to them.”

However, DOJ said that since these documents had been issued a long time ago, they have to dig through the case records.Acting Prosecutor General Richard Anthony Fadullon has said, “as far as our records, there are among the accused, a decision rendered by an acting judge [that] approved the amnesty. But when I looked at the records, Trillanes was not included.”

While Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said they are still digging into their records. Guevarra said, “We have to check our records first if it was filed in 2003 and that was 15 years ago. We really have to look if it was suspended.”

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