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AFP respects the “rule of law” on the case of Trillanes

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In reaction to Senator Antonio “Sonny” Trillanes IV’s challenge to the Armed Forces of the Philippines to “show some balls, stand up for the truth”, the AFP said that it would not issue comments on the case of Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV.

AFP spokesperson Col. Edgard Arevalo said,“We respect the rule of law and court decisions and processes. This includes the case of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV. The matter is already in the purview of the courts. And to the civil courts we defer.”

 “We will not issue further statements related to the case,” the AFP spokesperson added.

Trillanes dared the defense and military leadership to stand up against President Rodrigo Duterte’s revocation of his amnesty simply because the application form went supposedly missing from military records.

Despite the allegations that the AFP had been politicized, Arevalo made it clear that they will never allow themselves “to take direct or indirect participation in any political actions against the present duly constituted authorities.”

Col. Arevalo added, “Those who will be caught involving themselves in political actions “will be dealt with severely and personnel who will get involved will be immediately relieved from their posts, investigated, and meted stiff penalties where warranted.”

Meanwhile, the camp of Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV asked the Makati court to deny the Department of Justice’s motion for the issuance of alias warrant and hold departure order due to lack of jurisdiction and/or lack of merit. Trillanes’ camp insisted that the case had already become final and executory nearly seven years ago based on a court order dated Sept. 21, 2011 issued by Acting Presiding Judge Ma. Rita Bascos Sarabia, the coup d’etat case against Trillanes pursuant to the amnesty was already dismissed.

Apart from this, it was also stressed before the court that the Armed Forces of the Philippines certification presented by the prosecution merely stated that there are no records of the senator’s application for amnesty were available, but it did not explicitly say that Trillanes did not apply for amnesty.

“As can be seen from the text of the subject certification issued by Lt. Col. Thea Joan Andrade, there was no statement, claim and/or assert that Senator Trillanes did not file his application for amnesty,” the comment read.

This was one of the basis cited in the text of President Rodrigo Duterte’s Proclamation 572 that declared the amnesty granted to Trillanes as void from the beginning.

Meanwhile, a copy of the affidavit of Col. Josefa Berbigal where she attested that: “Among the applications for amnesty which our committee process was that of Trillanes, which was filed on Jan. 5, 2011.”

In her affidavit, Col. Berbigal stated that she “personally received” Trillanesapplication and she also asked the senator to “read the pre-printed statement contained therein making a general admission of his guilt for his alleged offenses before asking him to take his oath for the said amnesty application.”

However, many observers are puzzled why all of a sudden the record of Trillanes’ amnesty application is missing and they suspect that someone from the AFP has a hand on this missing record that led to the nullification of the amnesty granted to Trillanes during the time of President Benigno Aquino III.

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