Fake news! Trillanes debunks gov’t claim he is still in military service
By Xave Gregorio
Opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes IV debunked the government’s claim that President Rodrigo Duterte’s voiding of the amnesty granted to him has placed him back in military service, insisting that he has been separated from the service since 2007.
Trillanes presented a supposed original copy of his major service clearance in a media briefing Wednesday afternoon (September 5), which states that he “has been cleared of money/property accountabilities” since August 28, 2007.
“Meaning, as early as August of 2007, civilian na po ako. Ito po’y resulta ng aking pagre-resign sa serbisyo noong ako po ay nag-file ng certificate of candidacy,” Trillanes said of the service clearance, which he said he obtained through a “friend.”
By filing his certificate of candidacy to run for senator in the 2007 elections, Trillanes was deemed resigned from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and was issued an ipso facto resignation on May 3, 2007.
Documents Trillanes presented also showed that he received his last paycheck from the military on February 2007.
Trillanes contends that even if President Rodrigo Duterte’s voiding of the amnesty he received were valid, it would not result in his return to military service, as he was granted amnesty in 2010, while he was separated from the service in 2007.
“Wag na silang mag-aksaya ng panahon pa na gumawa ng court martial, kasi ang absurd to begin with,” Trillanes said.
He said he would submit the documents he obtained to the AFP, in an effort to thwart their attempt to reconstitute a court martial which would hear the charges against Trillanes, instead of a civil court.
The AFP says Duterte declaring the amnesty granted to Trillanes as void from the start returns the opposition senator to military service, and would have to face trial before the court martial.
The Department of National Defense (DND) also insists on this view, saying that since Trillanes is supposedly back in active duty, he may be arrested without a warrant, pursuant to rules of the military justice system.
If the AFP and the DND were to be believed, Trillanes may be arrested upon the order of the provost marshall, which would then be implemented by the military police.
Military and police personnel have been lingering in and out of the Senate compound in Pasay City since Tuesday (September 4), waiting to arrest Trillanes.
However, Trillanes and other senators say he cannot be arrested as authorities do not have an arrest warrant with them.
The Department of Justice filed a petition before the Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 148 for an alias arrest warrant against Trillanes, but this has not been granted as the court gave the senator five days to respond to the petition and set the hearing of the case on September 13.