Philippines Report

2 solons say Duterte can be impeached if Trillanes ‘illegally’ arrested

President Rodrigo Duterte can be impeached if he forces the uniformed personnel to “illegally” arrest his critic, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, opposition lawmakers warned on Wednesday.

Akbayan Rep. Tom Villarin and Albay 1st District Rep. Edcel Lagman said Duterte’s Proclamation No. 572 voiding the amnesty grant to Trillanes was not by itself a warrant of arrest because only a competent court can issue an arrest warrant on the basis of a pending criminal case. This, they said, is stipulated under Article 2, Section 2 of the Constitution.

Rodrigo Duterte and Antonio Trillanes IV
President Rodrigo Duterte and Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV (File photo from the Philippine Daily Inquirer)

President Rodrigo Duterte can be impeached if he forces the uniformed personnel to “illegally” arrest his critic, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, opposition lawmakers warned on Wednesday.

Akbayan Rep. Tom Villarin and Albay 1st District Rep. Edcel Lagman said Duterte’s Proclamation No. 572 voiding the amnesty grant to Trillanes was not by itself a warrant of arrest because only a competent court can issue an arrest warrant on the basis of a pending criminal case. This, they said, is stipulated under Article 2, Section 2 of the Constitution.

“The presidential order is unconstitutional. If Duterte forces the AFP and PNP to enforce it, it’s an illegal order that they will be held liable and Duterte committing an impeachable act,” Villarin said in a statement.

Lagman, meanwhile, underscored that there can be no warrant of arrest against the senator because all of his criminal cases before the regular courts and military tribunals, arising from the Oakwood mutiny and other coup attempts, had already been dismissed after he was granted amnesty on Jan. 31, 2011, under Department of National Defense Ad Hoc Committee Resolution No. 2.

Rodrigo Duterte and Antonio Trillanes IV

President Rodrigo Duterte and Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV (File photo from the Philippine Daily Inquirer)

President Rodrigo Duterte can be impeached if he forces the uniformed personnel to “illegally” arrest his critic, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, opposition lawmakers warned on Wednesday.

Akbayan Rep. Tom Villarin and Albay 1st District Rep. Edcel Lagman said Duterte’s Proclamation No. 572 voiding the amnesty grant to Trillanes was not by itself a warrant of arrest because only a competent court can issue an arrest warrant on the basis of a pending criminal case. This, they said, is stipulated under Article 2, Section 2 of the Constitution.

“The presidential order is unconstitutional. If Duterte forces the AFP and PNP to enforce it, it’s an illegal order that they will be held liable and Duterte committing an impeachable act,” Villarin said in a statement.

 

Lagman, meanwhile, underscored that there can be no warrant of arrest against the senator because all of his criminal cases before the regular courts and military tribunals, arising from the Oakwood mutiny and other coup attempts, had already been dismissed after he was granted amnesty on Jan. 31, 2011, under Department of National Defense Ad Hoc Committee Resolution No. 2.

 

“The mere report that ‘there is no available copy of his (Trillanes) application for amnesty in the records’ does not show that he did not apply because if he did not apply, he should have not been granted amnesty,” he added.

Lagman also said that the “missing” application could have been “maliciously concealed or deliberately destroyed.”

He also pointed out that there were other concrete pieces of evidence documenting Trillanes’ application for amnesty like relevant photographs and video coverage.

The lawmaker further noted Section 19 of Article VII of the Constitution which states that a Presidential amnesty proclamation needs the prior concurrence of a majority of all Members of the House of Representatives and the Senate.

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“Then any revocation, if ever allowable, must also have the concurrence of the Congress,” Lagman stressed.

Duterte earlier ordered the arrest of his vocal critic, claiming that the former Navy officer who staged mutinies in 2003 and 2007 against then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo had not applied for amnesty and had not admitted his guilt. (inquirer.net)

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