Leni Robredo condemns ‘persecution’ of opposition

Helen Flores, Marvin Sy - The Philippine Star
Leni Robredo condemns âpersecutionâ of opposition
Robredo said she stands by Trillanes, being an appparent victim of political persecution due to his unwavering criticisms against the administration.
Boy Santos

MANILA, Philippines — Citing glaring legal infirmities of the proclamation issued to revoke the amnesty of Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV and cause his arrest, Vice President Leni Robredo, several senators and lawyers rallied behind the embattled lawmaker in seeking justice.

Robredo said she stands by Trillanes, being an appparent victim of  political persecution due to his unwavering criticisms against the administration.

She vowed to join those who are not afraid to express grievances against the government of Duterte.

“We told Senator Trillanes that we are aware that this is not correct. We are one with him in this fight. We’ll do everything to stop this kind of persecution to silence our voices,” Robredo told the media during a visit in Zamboanga City yesterday.

The persecution is also perceived, given the lack of basis and infirmities of the proclamation.

For one, Magdalo party-list Rep. Gary Alejano, who was amnestied like Trillanes after the uprisings they staged against the Arroyo administration, said the military no longer has jurisdiction over Trillanes because he is now a civilian and thus could no longer be court-martialed.

Election lawyer Romulo Macalintal said the same thing – Trillanes was “automatically resigned from the military service when he first filed his (certificate of candidacy) for senator.”

Robredo strongly condemned Trillanes’ “persecution,” warning that these acts of silencing critics will all the more unite the opposition against the Duterte government.

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said the premise for the issuance of Proclamation No. 572 revoking the amnesty granted to Trillanes was erroneous because he did file an application for it, contrary to what was written in President Duterte’s order.

Also, Macalintal and Rowena Daroy-Morales, director of the Office Legal Aid of the University of the Philippines College of Law, said Duterte cannot order the arrest of Trillanes without a warrant of arrest from a “competent court” having jurisdiction over any criminal cases filed against the senator.

Macalintal likewise agreed with other law experts that the amnesty that had congressional concurrence could not be revoked by Duterte alone. The issue also went through the lower courts and all the way to the Supreme Court before it became final.

The Department of Justice has filed an urgent motion before the Makati City regional trial court seeking issuance of an alias warrant of arrest against Trillanes, to update the previous warrant issued against him. – With Roel Pareño, Jess Diaz





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