Press Release
September 4, 2018

Statement by Senate Minority Leader and former Justice Secretary Franklin M. Drilon on the revocation of the amnesty of Senator Antonio Trillanes

Proclamation No. 572 has no basis. The revocation of the amnesty granted to Senator Antonio Trillanes IV is premised on the alleged failure to apply for amnesty, which is required under Proclamation No. 75 issued by then President Benigno Aquino III.

First point, that an application was made and completed by Senator Trillanes is obvious from the fact that the Regional Trial Court dismissed the criminal cases in relation to the Oakwood munity against Senator Trillanes. The court must have found the application and grant of amnesty valid; otherwise, the cases would not have been dismissed.

Second point, we must adhere to the presumption of regularity in the performance of duty by the court. Absent any clear and convincing evidence that the court did not properly perform its duties, or that the court was ill-motivated, we have to presume that the court examined closely the motion to dismiss on the ground that there was a grant of amnesty.

For all intents and purposes, there is a factual and final finding by a court of law that the amnesty was validly granted.

When amnesty was granted to Senator Trillanes, it was as if, no crime was committed. That is the nature of amnesty. Jurisprudence provides that the grant of amnesty "abolishes and puts into oblivion the offense itself, it so overlooks and obliterates the offense with which he is charged that the person released by amnesty stands before the law precisely as though he had committed no offense." (Barrioquinto vs. Enrique G.R. No. L-1278 (January 21, 1949)

Third point, given that the court had already validly terminated and dismissed the criminal cases arising from the same actions, the issuance of Proclamation No. 572 and the reopening of the criminal cases will violate Senator Trillanes' right against double jeopardy.

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