Former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay criticized the decision of President Rodrigo Duterte to nullify the amnesty granted to Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV.
According to Hilbay, the amnesty was issued by former President Benigno ‘Noynoy’ Aquino Jr. and was concurred in by Congress.
“Duterte has no unilateral constitutional authority to nullify an amnesty given and accepted 8 years ago,” Hilbay said in a Twitter post.
On August 31, Duterte signed Proclamation No. 572 declaring the amnesty given to Trillanes as “void ab initio” due to the alleged failure of the lawmaker to comply with the minimum requirements.
Trillanes, a former lieutenant of the Philippine Navy, received amnesty for his participation during failed coup attempts last 2003 and 2007 after Aquino signed Proclamation No. 75 last 2010.
However, Proclamation No. 572 claims that Trillanes should not be covered by the amnesty since the mutineer failed to apply for the said grant and did not express guilt for his criminal activities.
Trillanes called Proclamation No. 572 as ‘a clear case of political persecution’ and insisted that he cleared all the needed requirements for the amnesty grant.
During the plenary session of the Senate on September 4, Trillanes also showed a video of him submitting the amnesty application to the Ad Hoc Committee of the Department of National Defense.
Currently, Trillanes remains in the custody of the Philippine Senate, as the institution insists that no arrest will be done within the premise of the Upper House of Congress.
According to reports, members of the Philippine National Police – Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) are currently waiting outside the premise of the Senate in order to arrest Trillanes.