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Alejano: Revocation of Trillanes’ amnesty jeopardizes peace talks between rebels and government

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Magdalo Partylist Representative Gary Alejano said that the revocation of the amnesty granted to Senator Antonio Trillanes IV would affect peace talks between the government and rebel groups.

The former marine officer turned lawmaker delivered a privilege speech on Monday, September 10 to condemn President Rodrigo Duterte’s Proclamation No. 572 which voided Trillanes’ amnesty(“void ab initio” which means “void from the beginning),because Trillanes allegedly did not file for it in the first place.

“The unilateral decision of the President has a far-reaching effect to peace and stability in our country… Hindi lamang kami ang maapektuhan (We are not just the only ones who will be affected), but also those who have availed of the amnesty before us and those who will avail in the future,” said Alejano.

Alejano added, “We have different rebel groups in the country and there were negotiations that took place and there are still continuing negotiations going on right now. Can they trust the government in granting amnesty if it can be easily revoked after some time?”

Trillanes and Alejano were among those soldiers who led the 2003 Oakwood mutiny against the administration of former president and now Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Both of them faced several charges, including coup d’etat and rebellion, but were later granted amnesty by former president Benigno Aquino III.

In his speech, Alejano also mentioned that the revocation of Trillanes’ amnesty could also affect the implementation of the Bangsamoro Organic Law, the culmination of the peace deal between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and past administrations.

“We just passed the Bangsamoro Organic Law, part of which is the granting of amnesty to the members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. Can they trust the government na ‘di sila babalikan pagdating ng panahon?” asked Alejano.

Alejano’s speech on Monday echoed a previous statement of Aquino, who also raised concern that the unprecedented revocation of amnesty might affect government peace deals with rebels and insurgents.

Alejano said that instead of going after Trillanes, the Duterte administration should just focus its efforts on addressing the soaring prices of basic goods, the alleged multi-billion projects awarded to Special Assistant to the President Bong Go’s family, the multi-million contracts cornered by Solicitor General Jose Calida’s family-owned security firm, and the bloody drug war.

In closing, the Magdalo Partylist Representative said, “If we allow this brazen attempt to violate the rights of Senator Trillanes, nawawala na po ang pagkukuwanri nating lahat na tayo ay demokrasya pa. Tayo ay nasa diktatorya na.”

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