In 2010, then President Benigno Aquino III's grant of amnesty, through Proclamation No. 75, specifically stated: “The grant of amnesty in favor of the said active and former personnel of the AFP and PNP and their supporters will promote an atmosphere conducive to the attainment of a just, comprehensive and enduring peace and is in line with the Government’s peace and reconciliation initiatives.”
PCA/released
Trillanes amnesty case impacts government's peace process, Hilbay says
Kristine Joy Patag (philstar.com) - September 11, 2018 - 10:36am

MANILA, Philippines — Law expert and former solicitor general Florin Hilbay on Tuesday warned that President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration to nullify the amnesty granted to his critic, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, might have strong implication on peace process talks.

“The president has, for some reason, placed on the line the integrity of the entire amnesty system of the government and even the peace process,” Hilbay told ANC’s “Early Edition.”

The former solicitor general said that with Duterte’s Proclamation 572, “anyone who has taken part of an amnesty program now have Damocles sword hanging over his or her head.”

“[N]ow that the president might have a power to revoke an amnesty then he can go back several years and even decades and look into the amnesty that [has] been given,” he added.

Amnesty, as defined by the Supreme Court, is an act which “looks backward, and abolishes and puts into oblivion, the offense itself.”

The SC also stated that the amnesty “overlooks and obliterates the offense with which he is charged, that the person released by amnesty stands before the law precisely as though he had committed no offense.”

Duterte, through Proclamation 572, said that the amnesty granted to Trillanes by former President Benigno Aquino III is “void from the beginning” as the senator allegedly failed to comply with the requirements for application.

The Palace later changed its tune and said the amnesty granted to Trillanes is void as only former Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin—an alter ego of the president—signed it. They said that only a president can grant an amnesty. This was not indicated in the very language of Duterte’s Proclamation 572.

RELATED: WATCH: Palace explains ‘additional ground’ on nullification of amnesty for Trillanes

In 2010, Aquino’s grant of amnesty, through Proclamation No. 75, specifically stated: “The grant of amnesty in favor of the said active and former personnel of the AFP and PNP and their supporters will promote an atmosphere conducive to the attainment of a just, comprehensive and enduring peace and is in line with the Government’s peace and reconciliation initiatives.”

It was also concurred with by the Congress.

Hilbay stressed that with Duterte's Proclamation 572, it "puts on the line any peace process that’s...ongoing because the end of every peace process is an amnesty so that both parties the government and rebels and mutineers can move forward."

“If they know that president can now exercise the power to cancel or revoke an amnesty that has already been given then it’s really pointless to go into peace negotiation with the government,” Hilbay also said.

Trillanes has taken his legal battle with Duterte's Proclamation 572 to the Supreme Court that is scheduled to meet in a full court session later on Tuesday.

The Department of Justice has sought the issuance of travel ban and warrant against Trillanes. Local courts handling the said cases, related to 2003 Oakwood Mutiny and 2007 Manila Peninsula siege, have also set hearings on September 13 and 15, respectively.

ANTONIO TRILLANES IV FLORIN HILBAY TRILLANES AMNESTY
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