MANILA -- Senator Antonio Trillanes IV remains liable for the violations of the Articles of War he committed while in military service despite his resignation, Malacañang said Thursday.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made this reaction to Trillanes’ claim that the military has no jurisdiction over him since he was no longer in military service when the amnesty was granted to him by former President Benigno Aquino III in 2010.
“As to the fact that Senator Trillanes resigned from military, the act of resignation does not undo the violations of the Articles of War that he committed while he was in military service,” Roque explained in a statement.
Trillanes spearheaded coup attempts, particularly the Oakwood Mutiny in 2003 and the Manila Peninsula Siege in 2007, against former President and now House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Roque, a former law professor of the University of the Philippines, said Trillanes’ status now will be his status before the granting of amnesty, after President Rodrigo Duterte issued Proclamation 572 declaring the amnesty given to the former Navy officer void ab initio or invalid from the very beginning.
“In view of this, the Armed Forces of the Philippines has stated that the court martial proceedings against Senator Trillanes will continue,” Roque said.
Trillanes had also claimed that the coup-related charges against him have already been dismissed by the Makati City Regional Trial Court Branches 148 and 150 in September 2011.
Roque, however, explained that the court martial has “continuing jurisdiction” over violations of the Articles of War.
He said Trillanes was charged both for offenses tried before civilian courts and service-related offenses that are punishable under the Articles of War.
“Violations of the Articles of War cannot be tried by civilian courts,” Roque said.
Meanwhile, Roque defended Solicitor General Jose Calida’s move to ask for confirmation from the AFP about Trillanes’ missing amnesty documents.
“Calida is counsel for Republic. He inquired as part of his mandate and does not require any sanction from the Palace,” Roque said.
The absence of Trillanes’ amnesty application papers as well as his failure to expressly admit under oath his guilt for the crimes of rebellion have been used as basis in the issuance of Proclamation 572.
The proclamation, which Duterte signed three days before he left on Sept. 2 for a seven-day official visit to Israel and Jordan, declared void ab initio the grant of amnesty to Trillanes “because he did not comply with the minimum requirements to qualify under the Amnesty Proclamation”.
Roque also denied Trillanes’ accusation that Duterte is gearing towards revolutionary government (RevGov) following the issuance of Proclamation 572.
“RevGov (is) only for those without constitutional mandate. PRRD was duly elected and hence, constitutional,” Roque said in a text message to Palace reporters.
Department of Justice (DOJ) and Palace’s Officer-in-Charge Menardo Guevarra also said the RevGov issue is not true.
Guevarra welcomed Trillanes` move to seek a temporary restraining order (TRO) from the Supreme Court (SC) in a bid to stop the implementation of Proclamation 572.
“Good to know that he’s going to a court of law rather than blabbering outside,” Guevarra said.
Guevarra has been designated OIC while Duterte is on official trip, the first by a Philippine president, both in Israel and Jordan. (PNA)