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Case closed na! Drilon: Amnesty for Trillanes can’t be revoked

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The move of President Rodrigo Duterte to revoke–through Proclamation No. 572–the amnesty granted to Senator Sonny Trillanes “has no basis.”

Senate Minority Leader Frank Drilon made the remark on Tuesday as the President also ordered Trillanes arrested as a result of the revocation of his amnesty granted in 2010 by then president Noynoy Aquino.

“The amnesty was granted. It’s a closed case. Hindi p’wedeng bawiin. That is a completed act,” Drilon said in an interview.

Drilon and Trillanes belong to the Senate minority bloc which also includes Senators Kiko Pangilinan, Bam Aquino, Risa Hontiveros, and Leila de Lima, who is currently detained at the Phil. National Police Custodial Center since February 2017 on drug charges.

The revocation of the amnesty granted to Trillanes is premised on the alleged failure to apply for amnesty, which is required under Proclamation No. 75 issued by Aquino, he said.

“First point, that an application was made and completed by Senator Trillanes is obvious from the fact that the Regional Trial Court dismissed the criminal cases in relation to the Oakwood munity against Senator Trillanes,” he said.

The court, Drilon said, must have “found the application and grant of amnesty valid; otherwise, the cases would not have been dismissed.”

“Second point, we must adhere to the presumption of regularity in the performance of duty by the court,” the Senate opposition leader said.

“Absent any clear and convincing evidence that the court did not properly perform its duties, or that the court was ill-motivated, we have to presume that the court examined closely the motion to dismiss on the ground that there was a grant of amnesty,” he said.

Drilon added, “For all intents and purposes, there is a factual and final finding by a court of law that the amnesty was validly granted.”

“When amnesty was granted to Senator Trillanes, it was as if, no crime was committed. That is the nature of amnesty,” he stressed.

He noted that jurisprudence provides that the grant of amnesty “abolishes and puts into oblivion the offense itself, it so overlooks and obliterates the offense with which he is charged that the person released by amnesty stands before the law precisely as though he had committed no offense.”

“Third point, given that the court had already validly terminated and dismissed the criminal cases arising from the same actions, the issuance of Proclamation No. 572 and the reopening of the criminal cases will violate Senator Trillanes’ right against double jeopardy,” Drilon said.

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