Hindi ka nagiisa, Trillanes! All amnesty grants signed by Gazmin are void – Panelo
President Rodrigo Duterte’s claim that his drinking buddy, former Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, abused his authority in granting amnesty to Magdalo soldiers will affect not only the status of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV but also the roughly 80 other officers and soldiers who were forgiven by then President Noy Aquino.
Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said that Gazmin’s usurpation of authority – Duterte claimed Gazmin screened, endorsed, and approved the grantees – would void ab initio not only Trillanes’ amnesty but also the rest of the Magdalo officers and soldiers who joined the Oakwood Mutiny 2003 and Manila Peninsula siege in 2007.
“Theoretically yes! If unless they can show me that the President then signed a grant of amnesty to all those enumerated in the letters submitted to him, Secretary Voltaire Gazmin,” said Panelo in a TV interview.
Duterte had previously issued Proclamation 572 singling out Trillanes’ amnesty as void ab initio due to his failure to comply with the requirements of the amnesty deal, specifically filing an application form and admitting his guilt. Duterte added the Gazmin’s usurpation of authority as a justification less than a week after issuance of the proclamation.
Panelo said that with Gazmin’s culpability, the government has no choice but to check the validity of all recipients of the “defective and fatally flawed” Aquino amnesty.
“If you’re going to review one particular applicant in a particular amnesty grant. Then you have to see if there’s any irregularity in any of the applicants. Every one of them will have to go through,” said Panelo referring to former putschists Danny Lim of the Metro Manila Development Authority and Nic Faeldon of the Office of Civil Defense.