Vice Presidential Protestant Bongbong Marcos’ lawyer agrees with Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo that President Rodrigo Du30’s decision to declare void ab initio (void from the beginning) the amnesty granted to Senator Antonio Trillanes IV is constitutional. He should surrender himself to authorities because an amnesty is a conditional pardon. He must stay loyal to the current government and not to the previous one. All he has to do is present the proof of acceptance for his application which he failed to do so. He can stay in jail while fighting for his case. The same with the former senators Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla. His can is somewhat similar to the quo warranto petition of the former Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno when after investigation, her SALN was incomplete.
[VIDEO]: Marcos’ Lawyer Atty. George Garcia Explains the Constitutional Process of Voiding Trillanes’ Amnesty
The Presidential Defense
Panelo is coming to the defense of President Du30’s decision of declaring void ab initio, Trillanes’ amnesty. He is arguing that the President’s decision is constitutionally allowed. Furthermore, Panelo is saying that Trillanes is abusing the grant of amnesty by not complying with the terms and conditions.
Proclamation No. 572
With the signing of Proclamation No. 572 by President Du30, the amnesty granted to Trillanes is declared void ab initio. This is due to Trillanes failing to submit his original amnesty application to the Department of National Defense. This was for the crimes he has done in 2003’s Oakwood Mutiny and 2007’s Manila Peninsula Siege.
Panelo is saying that Trillanes is essentially committing the same crime again. He is bombarding President Du30 with accusations that he has no proof of. Now, that he is called to answer his own crimes, he’s taking refuge at the Senate.
The Right of the President
To protect itself from assault, the government has the right to protect itself through the President. To quote Panelo, “As Chief Executive and Head of Government, he has the power to issue orders protective of the State and its people. This is in line with the prime duty of the government to serve and protect the people under Article II, Section 4 of the 1987 Constitution.”
Warrant of Arrest
Panelo further adds that even without the concurrence of Congress, the amnesty can be voided. As he says, “Senator Trillanes has abused a grant of amnesty, albeit void, and it compels its nullification by the President – official authority who is considered by the 1987 Constitution as the grantor of executive clemencies.”