Former Department of National Defense Sec. Voltaire Gazmin claims that the amnesty granted to Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV went through the proper process.
According to Gazmin, he is getting in touch with other members of the DND ad hoc amnesty committee that recommended the amnesty grant on Trillanes, and other officials involved in the failed coup d’ etat attempts from 2003 to 2007.
“As far as I can remember all those who were granted amnesty went through the process. I am getting in touch with the Ad hoc committee so that facts can be refreshed, these happened many years ago,” Gazmin said in a statement.
The senator received amnesty for his involvement in the 2003 Oakwood Mutiny and 2007 Manila Peninsula Hotel incident thru Presidential Proclamation No. 75 issued in 2010 by then-President Benigno ‘Noynoy’ Aquino III.
However, via Presidential Proclamation no. 572 dated August 31, 2018, incumbent President Rodrigo Duterte declared the pardon granted to Trillanes as “void ab initio” due to the alleged failure of the former mutineer to comply with the necessary requirements.
Proclamation No. 572 said that Trillanes did not file an application for amnesty based on the certification of Lt. Col. Thean Joan Andrade, chief of the Discipline Law and Order Division of the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, J1, that ‘there is no available copy of his application for amnesty in the records’.
The proclamation also stressed that Trillanes never expressed guilt for his previous crimes, another requirement in order to receive amnesty from the government.
Duterte has also ordered the Department of Justice and the Armed Forces of the Philippines court martial to pursue all criminal and administrative charges against Trillanes for his participation in two failed coup d’etat attempts.
The Chief Executive also directed the AFP and the Philippine National Police to apprehend Trillanes ‘so that he can be recommitted to the detention facility where he had been incarcerated for him to stand trial for the crimes he is charged with’.
Trillanes has already insisted that he complied with all requirements needed to receive amnesty and presented news reports and documents to support his claim.
Among these documents, a letter by Gazmin to Aquino in which the then-Defense secretary said that he has approved the recommendation of granting amnesty for Trillanes and other mutineers, and that the committee found their applications ‘to be in order and the applicants qualified for amnesty’.
The senator also showed a resolution of the DND ad hoc committee that showed Trillanes was among the 39 officials that filed an application for amnesty and that the committee has recommended the approval of his application for amnesty.