Trillanes camp fails to present amnesty application

Robertzon Ramirez - The Philippine Star
Trillanes camp fails to present amnesty application
Judge Elmo Alameda of Makati Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 150 deferred action on the justice department’s request for the issuance of an arrest warrant and hold departure order on Trillanes.
Geremy Pintolo

MANILA, Philippines — The camp of Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV failed yesterday to present his application for amnesty as demanded by a Makati City court, which gave him and the justice department five days to submit their respective comments in connection with the government’s motion to have him arrested and barred from leaving the country.

Judge Elmo Alameda of Makati Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 150 deferred action on the justice department’s request for the issuance of an arrest warrant and hold departure order on Trillanes.

President Duterte had ordered Trillanes’ arrest under Proclamation No. 572 revoking the amnesty granted to the former Navy officer by the Aquino administration.

Trillanes was represented at yesterday’s hearing by lawyer Reynaldo Robles. State prosecutor Richard Anthony Fadullon represented the Department of Justice.

When asked by Alameda to present Trillanes’ application for amnesty with the Department of National Defense, Robles failed to show one and instead asked the court’s permission to present secondary evidence such as video recording of the filing of amnesty, news clippings as well as certificates and affidavits attesting to the validity of Trillanes’ amnesty. 

“It’s not what the court needs,” Alameda told Robles. The latter said they would submit Trillanes’ certificate of amnesty instead of the actual application form.

The judge said the application is essential to the case as its supposed unavailability is being questioned by the prosecutors.

“The court needs the application from the amnesty commission,” Alameda said.

Robles proposed instead that members of the commission be summoned as witnesses to Trillanes’ application.

“Unfortunately your honor, we could not find his application,” Robles said when asked why he could not submit Trillanes’ amnesty application form.

But Robles presented the certificate of amnesty signed by former defense chief Voltaire Gazmin.  Eventually, Robles was allowed to submit secondary evidence.

After the hearing, Robles told reporters that the burden of proving Trillanes’ alleged failure to properly apply for amnesty should be on the prosecution.

“The fact is he did apply and it could be proven by other evidences,” Robles said.

He added it was clear the government should be held accountable for “infidelity in the custody of public documents” for failing to secure Trillanes’ application for amnesty.

Fadullon, on the other hand, said it was clear Trillanes did not apply for amnesty.

“Hopefully, it will make it easier for the court to come up with its resolution of our motion,” Fadullon told The STAR. But he stressed it was still too early to celebrate.


Meanwhile, Trillanes said he would remain at the Senate premises, as President Duterte could not be trusted to keep his word that the senator would not be arrested without a warrant.

Speaking to reporters outside his office yesterday, Trillanes said Duterte could just be laying a trap so he could be arrested once he is outside the Senate.

Last Thursday, the President said he or the military was not interested in arresting Trillanes.

Trillanes maintained that what he was going through right now, starting with the issuance of Proclamation 572 by the President, was all meant to put him behind bars. – With Marvin Sy

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