In a Presidential Proclamation issued today, September 4, 2018, President Duterte has revoked the amnestygranted to Antonio Trillanes by BS Panot Aquino due to noncompliance of the requirements of the amnesty.
In an immediate comment about the release of the Proclamation, prominent social media influencer Trixie Cruz-Angeles recounted that Trillanes' amnesty has lots of loopholes.
Going back in time, Aquino's incompetence was actuallymanifested even in granting Trillanes amnesty.
This was explicitly tackled in a column in Manila Times.
READ: Trillanes faces immediate arrest following amnesty revocation
The Official Gazette records that Aquino signed two proclamations relative to the granting of amnesty to active and former personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and their supporters in connection with the July 27, 2003 Oakwood mutiny, the February 2006 Marines stand-off and the November 29, 2007Manila Peninsula Hotel incident.
Proclamation 50 was signed by Aquino on October 11, 2010, declaring and proclaiming the grant of amnesty to active and former personnel of the AFP and their supporters who may have committed punishable acts in connection with these three incidents, “[extinguishing]any criminal liability” for such acts committed, “without prejudice to the grantee’s civil liability for injuries or damages caused to private persons.”
Proclamation 50 said the grant of amnesty was to take effect ”immediately upon the signing thereof,” which is what makes it procedurally flawed. Any presidential grant of amnesty needs the concurrence of the Congress.
However, Proclamation 50 was never concurred in by the Philippine Congress.
Sensing the infirmity of Proclamation 50, Aquino recalled it and issued Proclamation 75 on November 24, 2010, the substance of which was essentially the same as that of Proclamation50—except for the explicit mention of its taking effect “upon concurrence of the majority of all the Members of the Congress”.
Likewise, in its period of application, Proclamation 75 modified the publication phrase into the following: “within a period of ninety (90) days following the date of the publication of this proclamation in two (2) newspapers of general circulation as concurred in by a majority of all members in Congress.”
Thereafter, House Concurrent Resolution No. 8, authored by then Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., was passed and resolved to ratify Proclamation 75. It was concurred in by 213 congressmen, with seven against, and two abstentions.
Was Proclamation 75 properly concurred then?
I tried searching the government records online for the full text of the concurrent resolutions of the Senate and the House pertinent to the grant of amnesty to Trillanes et. al. but found none.
However, there were newspaper reports and media accounts attesting that the Senate, with 14 senators voting for it, concurred with Proclamation 75 on December 7, 2010.
So, there you are. Proclamation 50 is patently and clearly defective. It was replaced by Proclamation 75, which was concurred in by the Senate and then by the House of Representatives.
Is it valid procedurally? My insight tells me that it was. Is it valid in substance, meaning in its context? Panelo should be able to answer that.
It can be remembered that in March last year, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Secretary Salvador Panelo said that he would review the amnesty granted to Senator Antonio Trillanes IV.
"I don't know of the facts of the case yet but there are some legal quarters expressing the same uncertainty or doubt on that. I'll go over the case. Then, I'll give you my proper response," Panelo told reporters in Malacañang.
Panelo said that if the amnesty was invalid, Trillanes could be sent back to jail.
"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, eh hindi valid iyon. But I don't know the facts of the case," Panelo said.
Proclamtion No. 572 - September 4, 2018
And today, September 4, 2018, Presidential Proclamation No. 572 was published in the broadsheets.
It basically announces the revocation of the amnestygranted by BS Panot Aquino to Antonio Trillanes.
Panelo stressed that the Duterte administration was only after prosecution of law breakers.
"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," Panelo said.
Sought for comment, Trillanes mocked Panelo.
"Panelo seems to be getting legal advice from the guy who sold him his ripped jeans," Trillanes said in a text message.
Former President Benigno Aquino III in 2010 granted Trillanes and others facing rebellion charges amnestyfor their involvement in the Oakwood Mutiny in July 2003 and the Manila Peninsula siege in November 2007.