Supporters of Philippine Senator Antonio Trillanes hold a rally in front of the Senate building in Manila on September 9, 2018. Trillanes, who is holed up in the Senate to avoid arrest, has in the past accused Duterte of corruption and his son of involvement in drug dealing, drawing a pledge of revenge from President Rodrigo Duterte who on September 4 ordered the arrest of the lawmaker.
Noel Celis/AFP
WATCH: Palace explains ‘additional ground’ on nullification of amnesty for Trillanes
Gaea Katreena Cabico ( - September 10, 2018 - 4:39pm

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Monday insisted that the amnesty granted to Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV by the previous administration was void from the very beginning because the document was not properly signed.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque argued that the amnesty given to Trillanes and the officers and enlisted men involved in the uprisings against then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was invalid because it was approved by former defense chief Voltaire Gazmin, not Aquino.

“The president’s (Duterte’s) belief as a lawyer is that an amnesty must be personally granted by the president. It cannot be further delegated to other officials,” Roque said in a press briefing.

He added: “It is a presidential prerogative so the position of the president (Duterte) is that only the president should have signed the order of amnesty.”

The supposed “usurpation of authority” committed by Gazmin was the “additional ground” that the administration cited on why the amnesty given to Trillanes is invalid from the outset.

This premise was not initially cited in Duterte’s Proclamation 572, which stated the opposition senator’s failure to comply with the application requirements for amnesty as the reason for the revocation. This claim, however, was contradicted by an actual video of his amnesty filing.

In a televised press briefing Monday, the former mutineer insisted on the validity of his amnesty.

Trillanes maintained it was Aquino who granted him amnesty through Proclamation 75, adding Gazmin was delegated by the former chief executive to approve applicants for amnesty. 

“The amnesty application was processed by the DND based on [Proclamation 75] of President Aquino. Hindi naman pwedeng si President Aquino ‘yung magproseso niyan,” he said.

The embattled senator also accused the administration of attempting to fill holes in the presidential order issued against him.

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