IBP: Withdrawal of the amnesty of Trillanes a & # 39; attack & # 39; versus the independence of the judiciary



Senator Antonio Trillanes
Antonio Trillanes in the Senate yesterday.

The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), a national organization of lawyers, has warned that the Duterte government's attempt to opposition Sen. Antonio F. Trillanes IV behind the bars would undermine the judicial process and be regarded as an "attack" against the independence of the judiciary.

This developed as the regional litigation court (RTC) in Makati City on Monday gave temporary relief to Trillanes after it denied the motion of the Ministry of Justice (DOJ) to decide on his motion for the issuance of a guard service and justify an alias arrest against the senator without having to hold a hearing.

In a three-page ranking, Makati RTC Branch 150 presiding judge Elmo Alamed said that acting on a proposal from the prosecution without hearing Trillanes' side would contradict his constitutional guaranteed right to a fair trial .

Minister of Defense Delfin N. Lorenzana, for his part, has admitted that the decision of the Supreme Court on the issue of amnesty with regard to Trillanes will also affect the amnesty granted to other ex-military mutinies, including those already part of the Duterte administration.

Although he refuses to pass on the merits of the case by Trillanes to the High Tribunal that the annulment by President Duterte of the Senator's amnesty granted during the Aquino administration wants to do, Lorenzana said that the court's verdict will also have consequences for the cases of other former officers, including retired Brig. Gene. Danilo D. Lim, now managing director of the Metro Manila Development Authority and former naval captain Nicanor E. Faeldon, who is now with the Civil Protection Bureau.

"An independent and impartial judiciary remains the most powerful bastion that protects our cherished constitutional rights against the excesses of political power.As the guardian of the rule of law, the IBP is ready to defend the independence and impartiality of our judiciary," said the IBP. in a news report issued by her president, lawyer Abdiel Dan Elijah Fajardo.

Fajardo said the IBP is alarmed about the issuance by Duterte of Proclamation 572, which as "invalid ab initio" rendered the grant by the previous government of amnesty to Trillanes under Proclamation 75, Series of 2010.

The IBP insisted that amnesty, once granted, can not be nullified by invoking the words which are ab initio invalid, as it is "an exercise of sovereign power which automatically assigns the rights granted to those entitled to the destruction of the offense with which he
is charged. "

"A person released by amnesty stands for the law exactly as if he had not taken offense," he remarked.

Trillanes received amnesty from former President Benigno S. Aquino III along with other Magdalo soldiers who were behind the series of attempts to overthrow the Arroyo government

Prior to granting amnesty, they were accused of a coup-etat case for Makati RTC Branch 148 for the Oakwood mutiny in 2003 and a plea for rebellion before Makati RTC Branch 150 for the siege of the Manila peninsula in 2007.

Both cases were rejected in 2011 after amnesty.

However, the president said that the granting of amnesty to Trillanes was null and void because of his failure to comply with the basic requirements of submitting an application form together with his acknowledgment of guilt.

& # 39; Calida has searched records & # 39;

Lorenzana also admitted that it was the Advocate General Jose C. Calida who asked for the declaration of the amnesty of Trillanes on 16 August, who told the army two weeks later that it had no copy of the document.

The chief of the defense said that the "investigation" of Calida's office on the pardon register of the senator in the armed forces of the Philippines (AFP) also included the other former officers who applied and were also granted
amnesty.

He said the investigation included more than 100 former officers.

Lorenzana also denied "rumors" that the case of Trillanes divides the army or that it creates instability in the uniformed service.

"Someone does a story that many officers are already displeased, but we do not see anyone," he said.

On Monday Trillanes Lorenzana and even AFP Chief of Staff General Carlito Galves assured that he or his group made no attempt to destabilize the
government.

Malacañang, meanwhile, said that former Secretary of Defense Voltaire Gazmin could be responsible for usurpation of authority when he signed both the recommendation and the certificate granting amnesty to Trillanes.

Although former president Aquino handed out proclamation no. 75 in 2010 and granted amnesty to Trillanes and other military mutineers, president-spokesman Harry L. Roque Jr. full that the president was the person who personally awards the amnesty and not his secretary.

"The president's belief as a lawyer is that amnesty must be granted personally by the president, it can not be further delegated to other officials.It's a presidential privilege, so the president's position is that only the president has the order of amnesty should have signed, "Roque said. With Bernadette D. Nicolas

Image Credits: AP


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