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Not once, but twice! Recto: Trillanes’ election as senator proves pardon

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The election of former Navy captain Sonny Trillanes in 2007 as senator and his reelection in 2013 were more than enough proof that Filipinos have already “pardoned” him for his military adventurism.

Senator Ralph Recto made the remark on Tuesday amid President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to arrest Trillanes following his issuance of Proclamation 572 revoking the amnesty granted to Trillanes in 2010 by then president Noynoy Aquino.

“We should honor the mandate and the trust millions of our countrymen had reposed on Senator Trillanes,” the Senate president pro tempore said.

“When I lost my 2007 re-election bid, one of the first congratulatory calls I made was to the detained Sonny Trillanes,” Recto said.

He added, “In my mind, here was a guy who, without setting one foot out of prison, was granted amnesty, not by one person but by 11,189,671 people.”

“When he won the reelection in 2013, more people–14,127,722 million this time–affirmed that the absolution earlier bestowed on him was right,” Recto said.

Trillanes had been charged with rebellion for leading the Oakwood mutiny in July 2003, the Marines stand-off in Feb. 2006, and Manila Peninsula siege in November 2007.

Recto said that if Trillanes had committed offenses after the Manila Peninsula incident, “if he had broken any law since, then the right course is to charge him, and not to nullify an amnesty that he applied for, recommended by the military, granted to him by the President, and concurred in by Congress.”

The opposition senator, vocal against some of the President’s policies, should be granted every opportunity to challenge the revocation of the amnesty in complete freedom, Recto said.

He pointed out that Trillanes “attracts controversy when he dabbles in politics.”

“But what is not well known is his immense contribution in policymaking which he conducts without fanfare,” he said.

“I served in the Cabinet of President Arroyo and I think Senator Trillanes had done time for the mischief he had created during her incumbency,” Recto added.