Arriving at the Davao International Airport last Saturday, Duterte said he had no problem with Trillanes’ fellow mutineers and coup plotters and they were all his friends, so he did not want them jailed: “Wala man akong problema sa ibang nag-coup d’état, puro kaibigan ko man ‘yan. So sabi ko, bakit ko sila ipakulong?”
Toto Lozano/Presidential Photo
Duterte cites presidential prerogative on amnesty
Edith Regalado (The Philippine Star) - September 10, 2018 - 12:00am

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — It’s the “president’s prerogative” to void the amnesty granted to Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV while maintaining the amnesty granted to other military personnel, according to President Duterte.

Arriving at the Davao International Airport last Saturday, Duterte said he had no problem with Trillanes’ fellow mutineers and coup plotters and they were all his friends, so he did not want them jailed: “Wala man akong problema sa ibang nag-coup d’état, puro kaibigan ko man ‘yan. So sabi ko, bakit ko sila ipakulong?”

Duterte said the amnesty given to Trillanes by former president Benigno Aquino III is flawed, but stopped short of saying that the other officers, who were granted amnesty together with Trillanes, have nothing to worry about.

There were several other military officers who took part in the 2003 and 2007 mutinies, which sought the removal of then president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Trillanes, one of Duterte’s harshest critics, was a Navy lieutenant at the time.

Duterte pointed out that he issued Proclamation 572, which revokes Trillanes’ amnesty, on the basis that the former rebel did not apply for amnesty or admitted guilt for his involvement in the Oakwood mutiny and Manila Peninsula siege, apart from a Marine standoff in 2006 at Fort Bonifacio involving other renegade soldiers who also called for Arroyo’s removal.

Aside from Trillanes, Aquino also granted amnesty in 2011 to former Bureau of Customs chief Nicanor Faeldon; party-list Rep. Gary Alejano; retired major general Renato Miranda; retired colonels Rafael Galvez, Allan Paje, Jaime Regalario and Jake Malajacan, as well as civilian Pepe Araneta Albert.

Duterte denied he was targeting Trillanes as he pointed out that Solicitor General Jose Calida saw some flaws in the granted amnesty. He did not say though whether he ordered Calida to review the amnesty or if Calida acted on his own.

Asked to comment on why only Trillanes, he replied that he was using a presidential prerogative in issuing Proclamation 572.

“(My answer to him) is it’s the President’s prerogative. You read the Philippine Constitution—‘The President shall have the power to pardon and grant amnesty with the concurrence – with the agreement of Congress.’ That’s it,” Duterte added.

He also quoted the golden rule to justify his action.

“(Now), what is the lesson there? Bakit tinarget ko siya? (Why have I targeted him?) Well, I only have one word. Pareho man tayo na nagta-trabaho lang rin (We are both workers). I will just quote, correct me if I’m wrong, ‘Do not do unto others, what you would not want – want them to do to you’,” the President said.

He also said that the revocation of the amnesty granted to Trillanes is not part of a bigger effort to silence his critics like Vice President Leni Robredo, Sen. Leila de Lima and former chief justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

Incidentally, it was also Calida who reviewed Sereno’s compliance with requirements for appointment to a position at the Supreme Court, particularly targeting a flaw in the submission of statements of assets and liabilities.

Duterte also lambasted Robredo anew, saying she would never be president.

“Gaya ni (Just like) Leni, she can never be a president. Puro dasal. T*** i**. Kasi kung pinakinggan lang ako ng Diyos nila, ‘yung Diyos ng Katoliko? Ay p***** i**, walang nangyari sa buhay ko. (It’s all prayers. So*of*****h. If their God just heard me, the God of Catholics? So*of*****h, nothing would have happened to my life.) My God is my God. It is the God that my parents revered,” the President added.

AMNESTY ANTONIO TRILLANES IV RODRIGO DUTERTE
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