Arroyo says opposition senator’s amnesty needs court’s discretion
Dasmariñas City — Senator Grace Poe took a jab at the Duterte administration’s handling of the amnesty granted to but later revoked from Senator Antonio Trillanes IV.
“Yung diploma ninyo, itago n’yo (Your diploma, hide it),” she advised the young and aspiring seafarers, during a speech at the inauguration of a private maritime school here.
“Dito pala sa ating bansa, ‘pag nawawala, wala nang bisa … parang (In our country, when something gets lost, its validity disappears, like) amnesty,” Poe added.
President Duterte had ordered the arrest of Trillanes, a known administration critic, after revoking the amnesty earlier granted to the former mutineer.
Malacañang had said that the amnesty was void as it could not produce a copy of Trillanes’ application.
The Palace later took back the arrest order until a court issues a warrant.
As she went on, Poe asked the students how many islands compose the Philippines, stressing at one point that “those at the West Philippine Sea belonged to us,” an apparent reference to the territorial dispute between the Philippines and China.
She said the number of Philippine islands is “changing.” “Paiba-iba, parang desisyon ng Korte kay (Keeps on changing, like the Court decision on) Trillanes,” she said.
Poe expressed wariness yesterday that Trillanes would be arrested as soon as he leaves the legislative building in Pasay City.
But Poe insisted Trillanes should not be arrested without a court-issued warrant.
“Wala talaga dapat na pag-aresto ng walang warrant at isa pa, bakit mamadaliin? Hindi naman siya banta maski na kanino,” she said in an interview.
She pointed out that the intention of the amnesty granted to Trillanes was there, except that there are now issues being raised against it.
“Kulang na nga kami sa Senado, mababawasan—‘wag naman,” Poe said in jest.
Meanwhile, House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo yesterday said the revocation of the amnesty granted to Trillanes is a legal issue that needs the court’s discretion.
“Well it’s a legal issue and he’s gone to court. Let’s see what the court have to say,” Arroyo said in a short interview after the visit of the 10 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos at her office.
President Duterte issued on August 31 Proclamation 572, citing Trillanes’ failure to file an application for amnesty and admit his guilt over his involvement in the 2003 Oakwood mutiny and the 2007 Manila Peninsula siege as grounds for the repeal of the senator’s reprieve.
The proclamation stated that their grounds were based on a certification issued by Lt. Col. Thea Joan Andrade, which says “there is no copy of his application for amnesty in the records.”
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