Press Release
September 6, 2018

Drilon warns of implications if amnesty is revoked, case vs Trillanes reopened

Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon on Thursday said that revoking the amnesty granted to Senator Antonio Trillanes IV and reopening of cases against him that were already dismissed by the courts are recipes for instability.

Drilon said that Presidential Proclamation No. 572 cannot just invalidate an act performed altogether by the three branches of government.

"An amnesty was granted by the executive and the amnesty was concurred in by Congress. The judiciary reviewed and deemed valid the grant of the amnesty resulting in the dismissal of cases against Sen. Trillanes, et. al.," Drilon said in an interview with ANC's Headstart.

"The three branches of government were on the same track. All acted in unison insofar as this case is concerned. Don't tell me that we can just void that," Drilon stressed.

"To say that it can be withdrawn unilaterally by the President can put to naught all of these institutions," he added.

Drilon said that the grant of amnesty is an "act of the Office of the President and not the person of the President," hence, regardless of who is sitting President, "it should be binding on the entire government especially in this case where the court has already passed upon the validity of the amnesty."

The minority leader cautioned of danger and implications if Presidential Proclamation No. 572 is sustained.

"Think of the policy implication. After the government signs a peace agreement with rebel groups, by virtue of which amnesties were granted, concurred in by Congress," said Drilon. "Now, I don't think that this is a correct proposition to say that 'we can revoke this' because this is a recipe for instability."

Drilon said he hopes that the Supreme Court will decide on the case "in the way the logic and jurisprudence would dictate, because this is very dangerous."

The camp of Trillanes is set to ask for a temporary restraining order against the implementation of Duterte's proclamation.

"If we allow this, it will create such instability and then you can no longer rely on the officials acts of government, including, in this particular case, the executive, the legislative and the judiciary - all three branches of government. Can you imagine the instability that it will cause the society?" Drilon stressed. If the proclamation is sustained, that will authorize the review of every application done down to every detail, he added.

Drilon then said that the President can revoke his proclamation. "The President in his wise judgment has the option of revoking the proclamation because that can be done, and maybe concentrate on the high prices, the inflation."

Drilon also believes that the cases against Sen. Trillanes cannot be reopened.

"It cannot be reopened, because otherwise, there will be no more stability in our society and there will be no more stability in our system because seven years after it's decided, you go back and say 'mali yan.' What will happen?" Drilon said.

The stability in our system requires that there must be finality in the orders of the court so that the people will follow. Otherwise, there bill be chaos," he said.

The former justice secretary dismissed talks of a citizen's arrest, saying that conditions on warrantless arrest are not applicable to the case of Trillanes.

"This is the first time I see a presidential proclamation directing the arrest of people; a presidential proclamation is not equivalent to a warrant of arrest," Drilon said.

Under the Constitution and the rules of court, he explained only the judiciary can issue a warrant of arrest after the judge has personally examined the documents and the evidence presented would warrant the issuance of warrant of arrest, after a case is filed.

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