Only in the Philippines is this happening
SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Bobit S. Avila (The Philippine Star) - September 6, 2018 - 12:00am

Finally, the Duterte administration has done something to keep that noisy Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV looking back at what he has done or should I say that he has undone for this country. Yes, I’m referring to the big news that Pres. Rodrigo Duterte recently invalidated the grant of amnesty to Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV for failure to comply with its minimum requirements. Come now, was Sen. Trillanes so reckless that a simple compliance of the minimum requirements for his amnesty he failed to act on, more so that his political patron, P-Noy Aquino was no longer president?

It’s time to bring ourselves back to July 2003 when Navy Lt. Antonio Trillanes IV began the infamous Oakwood Mutiny supposedly protesting the “corruption” of the Arroyo administration. Included with Trillanes was Nicanor Faeldon who joined the Peninsula Hotel siege four years later, still protesting the presidency of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. Also involved was retired Col. Ariel Querubin.

So when you go back to how then President Benigno Aquino III gave an amnesty to Sen. Trillanes and then later how he mistreated then president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo during his six-year term only to hear that the Supreme Court (SC) acquitted the former president of the plunder charge that allowed Pres. Aquino to incarcerate her, then you can now see that what the soldiers of the Magdalo Group had against PGMA was nothing but hearsay. Yet, they did their military misadventure taking over the Oakwood Hotel and years later the Peninsula Hotel and justice did not prevail in their cases. Political issues badly intervened!

So now let’s get back to the present. The million peso question people would like to know is whether or not Pres. Duterte has the power to revoke the amnesty given to Sen. Trillanes and the soldiers who joined his mutinous misadventure. This is something that we would like to see. But then, Solicitor General Jose Calida was accused by Sen. Trillanes of corruption in having the government hire his security guards in an agency, which he owns and controls. But then, the case of Calida is his own look out and if he is guilty with that kind of corruption, then Pres. Duterte should cut him out of his administration. 

Now we gathered that the Department of Justice and the Armed Forces’ court martial were instructed to “pursue all criminal and administrative cases” against Trillanes over military uprisings in 2003 and 2007, according to a copy of Duterte’s proclamation, which was confirmed by Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra. The military and the police were also ordered to “employ all lawful means to apprehend Trillanes” so that he could be detained.

To be totally honest about this issue… I strongly believe that Sen. Trillanes should be jailed for the Oakwood Mutiny. But then this is the Philippines where he did not only get an amnesty from Pres. Aquino, he was also elected senator of this land. This is how bad the Philippines has become. Senators should have great reputation coupled with great patriotism. But thanks to our very flawed election system, a rogue military man could become a senator of the land. Only in the Philippines as pundits would say.

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Allow me to acknowledge the receipt of a book entitled, “The Quest for Federal Republic: The PDP Laban Model of Philippine Federalism” edited by Jonathan Malaya which was sent to me by the PDP Laban Federalism Institute. This book is available at the following bookstores: Rex Bookstore, Fullybooked and Solidaridad Bookshop. You can find articles on federalism by Prof. Edmund Tayao, Dr. Julio Teehankee, Ramon Casiple, and Dr. Alex Brillantes, former Senate president Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III.

I have been asked to be a reactor in many federalism conferences, but so far I have refused them until I get to read the draft constitution made by the Consultative Committee (ConCom). I hope that this book would be a healthy reading for me who truly believes in federalism even long before then Mayor Rodrigo Duterte started talking about federalism.

To those who believe that the Philippines is not ready for federalism, I ask them to read the story of West Germany right after the end of World War II where from a single nation called the Third Reich, Germany broke into East and West Germany. But thanks to West Germany, which adopted federalism, it did not take too long for East Germany to rejoin the West and once again, Germany became a single nation under the Federal State of Germany. I don’t have to remind you that the most stable nations on this earth have a federal system of governance… so why shouldn’t the Philippines not adopt a federal state? Because several politicians do not want our nation to change with the times? Abangan!

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