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Dinamay pa! Palace warns of arrest for Gazmin over Trillanes amnesty

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By Prince Golez

Former Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin could be arrested and detained for granting amnesty to Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, according to Malacanang.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday said Gazmin committed usurpation of authority when he recommended and approved Trillanes’ application for amnesty.

Asked about the possibility of the ex-Defense chief to face arrest and detention, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. said, “Well, possible po.”

“Ito po ay isang krimen. At ang usurpation po ay kapag merong isang tao na walang otoridad at gaganap siya ng isang katungkulan na hindi naman para sa kanya. So—ito po ay ginamit ni Presidente, kasi ang sinabi nga niya, kung titingnan mo iyong amnesty na pinirmahan para kay Senator Trillanes ay talagang iyong nagbigay ng amnesty sa kanya ay iyong dating Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin at hindi iyong Presidente mismo,” Roque said on Monday.

The power to grant amnesty, according to him, is exclusive to the President with congressional concurrence.

“Binigyan ng otoridad si Voltaire Gazmin na magbigay ng amnesty, pero ang paninindigan ni Presidente, tanging Presidente lamang ang pupuwedeng magbigay ng amnesty. Dahil sa Saligang Batas tanging Presidente lang ang may kapangyarihan na magbigay ng ganyang amnesty,” he said.

“Ang isang kapangyarihan sa Saligang Batas ay hindi po pupuwedeng ilipat sa iba,” Roque added.